I received a notice that I breached a by-law, what will happen?

Q: I live in a small complex of units with only one drying area and one clothesline for 12 units. Occasionally, when the weather is humid, or the clothesline is full, I leave my washing on my balcony overnight or throughout the day. Today, I received a letter stating I had breached a body corporate law. What will happen if I do this again?

A: It sounds like you may have been issued a ‘contravention notice’, which should outline the by-law and how you’ve breached it.

Failure to comply can result in further notices, and eventually, the committee may choose to start proceedings in the Magistrates Court for the offence of failing to comply with the notice. They may also apply for conciliation to enforce the by-law. In some cases, a fine of more than $2,600 can also be imposed by the Magistrates Court for failure to comply with the notice and work with you to find a long-term solution.

It may be worth communicating with your committee to make them aware of the lack of options and to work together to identify a solution, such as installing more clotheslines in the drying area or dryers. Helping the committee understand your situation may lead them to retract the by-law breach notice.

For additional help, have a read of our useful articles on contravention notices and the article about playing by the rules versus breaching by-laws.