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Media Release – 3 November 2011
The Queensland Party will provide vulnerable unit owners with added protection from unscrupulous management and caretaker practices, with proposed changes to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act.
The party’s Candidate for Brisbane Central, Ruth Bonnett, today announced that The Queensland Party will seek to limit management rights contract ‘extensions’, which deny owners the right to honor the existing contract, and create an awareness campaign on owners rights.
“Our party is very aware that while there are many ethical caretakers, there are a number of others who create a climate of fear and intimidation, embarrassing and harassing owners who dare to ask questions.”
“One of the ‘protections’ managers have is Section 126 of the Act, which protects the interests of the banks, but makes a mockery of the rights of a body corporate where the caretaker is in default. This section makes it impossible to terminate a caretaking agreement, even when there has been significant misconduct. Unless a body corporate is well-informed, they may find themselves being herded into a continuing situation of ever increasing charges and escalating body corporate levies.”
“The Queensland Party would seek to remove Section 126 from the Act and limit the practice of ‘topping up’ contracts.
“Unfortunately the current situation is that unit owners sometimes wait until matters have well and truly become so unmanageable that they throw up their hands in despair and give up. Others back down when ‘be quiet’ tactics are used, such as letters being sent about them to other unit owners.”
“People who are elderly or ill, or not well-versed in business matters, may wish to ask what is really going on, but are too afraid to.”
Ruth Bonnett, who helped the campaign against Newman’s punishing rates increases for unit owners, urges all unit owners to seek help and support if they are uncomfortable with the cost or level of service they are receiving, or with the way their questions or complaints are being heard.
“People have the right and the responsibility to raise issues of concern. As an advocate for unit owners, I have prepared the following list of questions and answers which I would like to see widely distributed and used in future education campaigns.”
“The Queensland Party will be releasing further policies specific to unit owners in the lead up to the Queensland State election.”Media Contact Ruth Bonnett 0407 580 028 firstname.lastname@example.org