Can the body corporate declare umbrellas and awnings on balconies as dangerous and prohibit them? – Margaret, QLD

Our body corporate committee has declared umbrellas on balconies dangerous and must they be removed. Also, they say no awning or umbrella should be attached to railings as they are common property. Our umbrella is fastened to the balcony rails for safety and convenience. Our balcony faces east and is unusable in the morning for about 8 months of the year. Do we have any recourse?

–  Margaret, QLD

Certain aspects of a body corporate property may be deemed unsafe if there have been problems in the past. Maintenance can include all works that are needed to prevent damage and your body corporate may take steps to ensure the common property is safe for all owners and residents.

A body corporate is required to maintain the common property in a good and structurally sound condition. The owner of a lot has the responsibility to maintain their private property in good condition. An owner may be liable if they do not maintain their lot sufficiently and this causes damage to another lot or common property.

Perhaps the decision of the body corporate committee must have been based on an issue that has been raised with them. You may wish to approach the committee, preferably in writing asking their reasoning behind their decision. You could also submit a motion to the committee or to the next general meeting in relation to this matter.

The last resort would be to proceed with dispute resolution. You may refer to the this government page for more details.

Download this free guide on body corporate living in your state. You can also sign up for our newsletter to get legislative and strata lifestyle updates.