Owner Information

 Insurance For Carpets In Units

Why does the Body Corporate’s Building insurance not cover carpets in my unit?

The Body Corporate has a responsibility to take out sufficient insurance to cover the building however, under the relevant legislation pertaining to Bodies Corporate in Queensland [i], carpets are specifically excluded from the definition of “Building”. As a result when a building insurance policy is taken out the insurers do not account for the carpets within the individual units. Carpets within individual units are classified as content and are instead insured under the lot owner’s contents insurance policy.

This issue comes up from time to time where there may for instance be a flood within a unit from the lot above or storm damage to a roof. The building insurance policy generally covers the resultant damage to the building such as walls and ceilings but carpets are not taken into account. It is therefore imperative that owners have sufficient contents insurance in place to protect their individual unit content including carpets.

On occasion we have been asked why the building insurance covers carpets in a foyer for instance but not within a unit. The reason being that usually the Body Corporate insurance will include contents cover for the Body Corporate which owns the contents of the common areas only.


Common Misconceptions and FAQs about levies

“Strata Dynamics is the Body Corporate” – False

A Body Corporate is a legal entity comprised of all owners in the complex. Every owner of a lot in a community titles scheme is automatically a member of the Body Corporate.

Strata Dynamics is not a Body Corporate. Strata Dynamics is a Body Corporate Manager. We are an administration company here to help Bodies Corporate with their administrative and financial management.

 “The Body Corporate Manager sets the levies” – False

Each year, the Body Corporate Committee agrees on a budget of projected expenses. The Body Corporate contributions (levies) are then calculated to meet the projected requirements as set out in the proposed budget. Levies and the budget are then considered each year at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), at which each Lot Owner has the opportunity to vote on the levies.

Prior to the AGM each Lot Owner is provided with an AGM Notice, which is an invitation to attend the meeting and vote on matters affecting the Body Corporate. The AGM Notice includes voting papers along with financial reports and budgets so that each owner can make informed decisions when voting. The budgets are also discussed at the AGM.

If an owner is unable to attend the AGM, completed voting papers can be submitted to Strata Dynamics by email, post, or fax to be counted at the meeting. After the meeting, a copy of the AGM Minutes is issued to each owner detailing the levies agreed upon for the next financial year.

Strata Dynamics encourages all Lot Owners to participate in Body Corporate meetings and vote on matters affecting the Body Corporate.

“The Body Corporate Manager is the Committee” – False

Each year at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), a Body Corporate must elect a committee of at least 3 and no more than 7 Lot Owners (different rules apply to schemes registered under the Small Schemes Module) to implement the decisions of the Body Corporate and act on certain issues in regard to the day to day governance of the Body Corporate. The Body Corporate Committee is made up of volunteer owners and the positions are Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and Ordinary Committee Member(s).

“Levies are paid to the Body Corporate Manager” – False

All owners are required to pay Body Corporate contributions into both the Administrative Fund and the Sinking Fund. These contributions are collected in order to cover daily and ongoing costs for your Body Corporate.

The administrative fund is used to meet day to day expenditure of the Body Corporate. Examples of administrative fund expenditure might include lawn mowing, electricity, insurance, and other routine items. The sinking fund is used to provide for future capital expenditure. Examples ofsinking fund expenditure might include mandatory repairs such as painting of common property and replacement of fixtures on common property. Only a very small portion of the administrative fund levy goes towards the administrative services provided by Strata Dynamics.

As Body Corporate Managers we administer a bank account in the name of your Body Corporate. The Body Corporate contributions must be paid into this account and the Body Corporate expenses are paid from this account.  The financial viability of the Body Corporate is therefore dependent upon the Body Corporate setting appropriate levies and Lot Owners paying their levies on time.


“Can the Body Corporate Manager set up an Automated Direct Debit for me?”

Neither the Body Corporate nor the Body Corporate Manager is authorised to set up automated payments on your behalf. If you would like to set up an automated direct debit, we recommend contacting the below third party companies that may assist you with automated payments:

DEFT Payment Systems  or  StrataPay

Phone: 1800 672 162           Phone: 1300 135 610

www.deft.com.au                   http://www.stratapay.com

Please note Strata Dynamics does not have access to the conditions or payment details of any automated payment arrangements you may enter into with third party companies.

“How often do I have to pay levies?”

Depending on the financial structure of your Body Corporate, levies will be issued 2, 3, or 4 times a year and are usually due on the first day of the levy period. Levy periods and amounts are listed in the AGM Notice and Minutes.

 “Can my levy notices be posted to my Property Manager?” 

Yes. If you would like Strata Dynamics to send future body corporate notices to your Property Manager, please email info@stratadynamics.com.au with your body corporate name and a request that your billing address be changed.

“Can I access my Body Corporate information online?”

Yes. Information about your Body Corporate is available to you at http://www.stratadynamics.com.au by selecting ‘Owner Login’ from the main menu. This owners portal provides access to Body Corporate records such AGM Minutes, Community Management Statements, Building Plans, Committee Resolutions, Insurance Documents, and Sinking Fund Forecasts. You can also update your details online and check over your account ledger. If you do not have a login please request your Stratamax Login by emailing info@stratadynamics.com.au.

 “Why have my levies increased?”

It’s not uncommon for individual levy amounts to increase or decrease through the year.  Depending on how often your levies are issued, the first (and sometimes second) contribution(s) of the new financial year need to be pre-approved at the previous AGM. This is done so that the first levy of the new Body Corporate financial year can be issued without delay to ensure steady cash flow for the Body Corporate. When the new budget is calculated for the following AGM, any pre-approved levies are subtracted from the budget required and then divided between the remaining contributions periods. You will see evidence of any fluctuations in the levies by referring to the AGM Notice and AGM Minutes. Increases in your levies might also be caused by an increase over the previous year in unforseen expenditure.

“Why is my invoice due later than I expected?”

The levies are voted on at the AGM, which is usually held around the same time each year. On occasion, however, the AGM date might be later than usual. This sometimes means that levies might not be approved in time to issue for the usual due date.  In order to provide you with enough time to pay your levies, the Body Corporate will sometimes need to delay the due date to the 1st of the following month.

“Why are the levy figures on the AGM Notice different to the amounts on my invoice?”

The levy figures listed on the AGM Notice and AGM Minutes are usually listed on a per lot entitlement basis. Lot entitlements are set by the developer when the Community Titles Scheme is established and are set out in the Community Management Statement (CMS).  Each owner can then calculate their own levies based on the figures listed in the AGM Notice.

“Why does my invoice include a Special Levy?”

Just like administrative and sinking fund levies, special levies are also decided at a General Meeting and details of any special levies will be included in the Meeting Notices and Minutes sent to all owners. If your Body Corporate requires a special levy to be struck, the details with supporting material will be included in your Notice and discussed at the meeting. The most common reasons for special levies are to make a correction to deficits in the funds of the Body Corporate or to undertake a significant and unforseen capital project of the Body Corporate.

“I’m a new owner. Why does my invoice include levies dated prior to settlement? I only just bought the property.”

When you take ownership of a lot within a Body Corporate, you become liable for any and all outstanding Body Corporate levies.

Please note that neither the Body Corporate nor Strata Dynamics are directly involved in the purchase process. If you have any queries regarding amounts levied before you took possession of the Body Corporate property we encourage you to contact the solicitor who handled your purchase as they should have made adjustments at the time of settlement to cover payment of any outstanding levies.

“I’m a new owner. Why is the due date on my invoice so soon? / Why has the due date already passed?”

Please note that the original levy notice would have been issued to the owner recorded on the Body Corporate Roll at least 30 days prior to the due date. However, either due to the timing of your purchase or receipt of your contact details, we were not able to send your levy notice to you at the usual time of issue. A levy notice was sent as a courtesy upon notification of your purchase.

“What is the Body Corporate Financial Year?”

The financial year period for your Body Corporate may not necessarily line up with the 1 July – 30 June Australian fiscal year. The financial year for your Body Corporate is based on the date of registration of the Body Corporate. For example, if a Body Corporate is registered during the month of October, then its financial year will be from 1 October to 30 September the following calendar year.

For further information about any of the topics included in this information sheet, please email info@stratadynamics.com.au

Wooden Flooring in Units









Replacing carpet with timber flooring is a popular option for many owners renovating their units but before you embark on this project we recommend you do some homework to ensure your renovations don’t cause unnecessary disruption to your neighbours (particularly the ones below). The adjudicators can order lot owners to replace flooring with carpet or redo the insulation if it can be proved that there is unreasonable noise transference from a lot that has hard floors installed, often at great expense.

Before you go ahead with an installation, we recommend you:

  • read your body corporate’s by-laws and see if there are any rules about installation of hard flooring;
  • speak to your installer about the appropriate amount of sound installation under the floor;
  • speak to your neighbor and see what sort of noise currently emanates from your current flooring; and
  • if you feel it necessary, have an acoustics engineer perform an inspection and provide you with recommendations (some bodies corporate require this as part of their by-laws).

Once you have had the installation completed be mindful that you could potentially be creating more noise than usual. The body corporate commissioner’s office suggests the following measures to reduce noise transference:

  • floor rugs and carpets, with insulated backing in high traffic areas;
  • felt pads under furniture legs;
  • soft closers on cupboard doors;
  • removing shoes when inside the apartment; and
  • minimising noisy activities such as keeping volume on electronic devices as low as possible.

– Henry Wheeler

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Dogs in Bodies Corporate

In recent times we have seen an increase in occupants wanting to keep dogs as pets within their lots and thought it timely to give owners some suggestions and information on this process. It is important when considering introducing a dog into your environment that you do your research and follow proper process with the Body Corporate. This can help avoid any disputes with the Body Corporate down the track.

Do some research

It is important that some research be done before considering introducing a dog into a building. Here are some things to look into:

  1. What breed of dog would be appropriate for your unit complex?
  2. Is that breed of dog a barker or digger? And how will you manage this?
  3. Do you have the time to spend training the dog to ensure it won’t cause nuisance to other occupants in the building?
  4. Is the dog a suitable size for the size of your home?
  5. Will the dog need to be walked daily and/or does it require an outdoor area such as a courtyard?
  6. How will the dog’s waste be dealt with?

Follow proper process

Once you’ve considered all of the above you will need to follow proper process to obtain approval from the Body Corporate to keep a pet in the lot. Too often we have seen disputes within schemes where an occupant has not applied to the Body Corporate Committee to keep pets in the scheme or adopted the animal before applying for permission to keep it within the scheme. We would recommend ensuring you have approval in place before introducing an animal into the scheme. We have detailed the process for you below:

  1. Contact your body corporate management company and request a pet application form;
  2. Complete the form and submit it to the body corporate managers with all relevant supporting information as required;
  3. The form is then submitted with a motion to the Body Corporate Committee to vote on whether or not they will approve the pet to be kept within the scheme;
  4. The turnaround time for the Committee to vote on the matter can depend on their availability but is usually not longer than two weeks;
  5. The Committee will generally put strict conditions in place that will need to be adhered to and it is important to consider if you will be able to be comply with all of these conditions.

– Henry Wheeler