In many ways, tenants (referred to as occupiers in the legislation) and owners have the same rights when it comes to day-to-day living in a body corporate. This is because the by-laws of the scheme apply the same to owners and tenants. In fact, section 180 of the BCCM Act notes that a by-law must not discriminate between types of occupiers. However, one key difference is that tenants cannot submit motions for the body corporate to consider.
Tenants will generally raise an issue to the body corporate through their property manager, such as identifying that an area of the common property requires maintenance. However, it would then be up to the committee to take up the matter, or for an owner to submit a motion to the body corporate before the matter could be formally considered.
This also applies to other requests that a tenant may have, such as pet requests and requests to install air conditioning on the lot, provided the owner of the lot is in favour of the request. If an owner or tenant believes that a decision made by the body corporate is unreasonable, and attempts at self-resolution have not been successful, owners and tenants both have the right to submit a dispute resolution that applies to the body corporate commissioner’s office.