QLD Body Corporate Buying Member Votes - Breach of Law?

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17 November 2014
A voting member (lot owner) informed body corporate that the security function/ card swipe on the lift often did not work and tenants were sometimes left walking to end of building to use another or using the stairs. A month went by, nothing was done. The voting member who complained about the issue took matters into his hands and sought the expertise of an external contractor, leaving him $2,450 out of pocket. Whilst it is understandable that body corporate would not wish to reimburse him for this expense, he did battle along though, but was unable to recover funds. The voting members heard this issue, among others, and were going to vote the current chairman/executive member out due to his lack of competency and inability to take appropriate actions to prevent the contracted body corporate manager from, let's say, getting remunerated to do absolutely nothing. The relationship between the body corporate manager and elected chairman of the body corporate committee is highly unprofessional.

Word got round and 7 months later, it was time for voting members to push someone to power who would be able to make the body corporate manager more accountable for his actions. As the odds were not in the current body corporate managers favour, he contacted the lot owner mentioned above (via phone) and said he will reimburse him the $2,450 if he votes in favour of the existing manager. The unit holder foolishly did do this with him receiving his cash and voting for the existing executive member/committee chairperson, with him being re-elected (by 1 vote) and the existing body corporate manager being able to continue to be incompetent, with no executive member/committee chairperson to hold him accountable.

Is this 'buying ones vote' a breach of some sort of body corporate law, commercial law, or other law?
Although technically it was just a reimbursement of expenses, conditions were distinctly mentioned where the voting member would have to vote their way in order to receive the money.

I would appreciate all responses.



I would refer you to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act (Qld) which contains provisions for the conduct of Body Corporates etc in Qld.

Section 118 of that act provides that a Code of Conduct (contained in Schedule 2 to the act) applies to a body corporate manager in the performance of their obligations under their engagement as manager. The provisions of the code are actually deemed to be included in the terms of the contract providing for the body corporate manager's engagement. Therefore a breach of the code can be enforced like a breach of the manager's contract with the body corporate.

The code itself in schedule 2 provides in section 2(2) that a body corporate manager must not attempt to unfairly influence the outcome of an election for the body corporate committee. I would also refer you to sections 7 and 8 of that schedule which talk about unconscionable and unfair conduct.

Here is the link to the act: https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/B/BodyCorpA97.pdf