My property by-laws ban riding of bicycle on the common property, and I find them to be unreasonable. When are by-laws invalid, what are my options? – Robert, QLD

My daughter and her friends enjoy riding their bicycles, but we have a by-law that bans riding of bicycle on the common property. We have 2 residents who insist the by-law is valid and I should not breach them. I have been told that the rule is now unreasonable according to recent rulings of the QLD adjudicator. Can you please advise me ?

– Robert, QLD

Ideally, your by-laws are meant to maintain decorum amongst property owners and residents. If they appear to be unjust, restrictive, or outdated, you may discuss the issue with your body corporate manager and look at options for changing them by majority vote.

If a by-law does not comply with the legislation, it may be invalid. If an adjudicator decides that a by-law is invalid, they may make the body corporate record a new community management statement—removing or amending the invalid by-law.

However, a body corporate’s recorded by-laws apply unless and until an adjudicator decides a by-law is invalid. A body corporate can only make a by-law on a matter allowed under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997.

Your property by-laws cannot:

  • Be inconsistent with the Act or any other legislation
  • Stop or restrict a sale, lease, transfer, mortgage or other dealing with a lot
  • Discriminate between types of occupiers
  • Be unreasonable, when the interests of all owners and occupiers in the scheme and the use of the common property are considered
  • Restrict the type of residential use of a residential lot
  • Impose a monetary liability on an owner or occupier (except in an exclusive use by-law)
  • Stop an owner or occupier from installing solar hot water or solar power on their lot because it affects the look of the building
  • Stop a person with a disability from having a guide, hearing or assistance dog on the scheme.

You may refer to the Queensland Government website for more information about by-laws. This website also contains the process for lodging a dispute with the Body Corporate Commissioner office.