Eddie owned an apartment in a central city complex. He wanted to install an air conditioning system in his apartment which required a unit to be installed on the outside of the apartment building. He wasn’t sure what the legal requirements relating to the Body Corporate were, and in particular did he need the consent of the Body Corporate?

It depends on the Body Corporate rules for the complex. Usually alterations to common property (including the outside walls) require the consent of the Body Corporate (all owners) as they alter the appearance of the complex. Obtaining consent of owners generally requires a meeting of owners who then vote on the issue. Depending on the rules applying to your complex, unanimous consent of owners may be required. Under the new law only a 75% majority will be required, rather than unanimous, however this does not come into effect until the new regulations have been drafted which is expected to be within the next 6-12 months.

Usually any structural alterations to a particular apartment (e.g removing or adding a dividing wall) also need the consent of the Body Corporate. Apartment owners should be very careful when planning alterations to ensure that along with complying with any building law and Council requirements, they are also complying with their Body Corporate rules.