Units Plans & Rules: What rules apply? And how are they changed & enforced?

The Owners Corporation is responsible for managing the units plan and the enforcement of its rules. The Unit Title (Management) Act 2011 (ACT) (the Act).

What Rules Apply to My Units Plan?

The default rules for a units plan are set out in schedule 4 of the Act however the default rules can be amended, rescinded, substituted or added to.

How Are the Rules for My Units Plan Changed?

Any amendment, including a rescission or variation of, or a substitution or addition to, the default rules must, in accordance with schedule 108 of the Act, be by a special resolution of the Owners Corporation. The amended rule takes effect either on the date of its registration or on a later date as stated in the rule.

Enforcing Rules

Generally, both a unit owner and a unit occupier are bound to comply with the rules for the Units Plan. The exception is that an occupier who is not a unit owner is not bound where a rule is inconsistent with the terms of their residential tenancy agreement under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (ACT).

The executive committee, if they reasonably believe that the unit owner or occupier has breached a rule and it is likely that the breach will continue or be repeated, can issue a rule infringement notice. Before issuing the rule infringement notice the Owners Corporation must resolve by ordinary resolution to do so. A rule infringement notice can be technical and it is important that all requirements under the Act are complied with or it may not be valid.

If a rule infringement notice is not complied with then the Owners Corporation may apply to ACAT for an order. The maximum penalty for a breach of a rule infringement notice is 5 penalty units. Under section 133(2) of the Legislation Act 2001 (ACT) a penalty unit is:

(a)     for an offence committed by an individual—$140; or

(b)     for an offence committed by a corporation—$700.

Therefore for an individual the maximum penalty per non-compliance with a rule infringement notice is $700 and for a corporation is $3,500.

For more information regarding rules please contact Allison Benson allison@kerinbensonlawyers.com.au

Date: 8 August 2014

Posted in ACT, Legal Alert, Rules and tagged , , , , , , , , , .