The Community Management Statement (CMS) is a document that establishes a body corporate once it is registered with Titles Queensland, along with a survey plan identifying the scheme land. The Community Management Statement (CMS) document contains several parts and five schedules containing important information that, when taken together with the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the Act) and regulations, provide for the operation and management of a scheme.
By referring to the CMS, those living, working and investing in community titles schemes can avoid disputes or conflicts and help the body corporate run efficiently.
The CMS must include, amongst other things:
- the identifying name for the scheme;
- its unique identifying number;
- the lot on plan;
- title reference from the scheme;
- the regulation module that applies to the scheme, and
- a schedule of lot entitlements for the scheme (Schedule A),
- explanation of the development of the scheme land (Schedule B),
- scheme by-laws (Schedule C),
- certain other details such as architectural codes (Schedule D), and
- a description of lots that have been allocated exclusive use areas of common property (Schedule E)
Lot Entitlements (Schedule A)
You may find referring to Schedule A of the CMS, which sets out the lot entitlements for each lot, especially helpful when choosing to buy a property in a community titles scheme. It will inform you about matters such as the proportion you will contribute towards the running costs of the body corporate and your share of voting rights, in some situations, and the value of your lot for rates and other government charges, compared with other lot owners.
Each owner needs to pay their share of expenses, such as maintenance and body corporate manager fees, in accordance with their contribution schedule lot entitlements as well as the value of their vote in some types of body corporate decisions. Interest schedule lot entitlements, on the other hand, will help you work out your share of the common property and body corporate assets if the scheme were to end. In some cases, the interest schedule of lot entitlements is also used to determine your share of the insurance levies.
Explanation of development of scheme land (Schedule B)
A developer may plan to develop the scheme in stages. If this is the case, Schedule B of the CMS will contain drawings and other information to assist you to understand the future development proposed. As new lots are developed, the grand total of lot entitlements remains the same, the costs will be shared between a greater number of lots. The committee may also approve the lodgment of a new CMS to reflect this progression of development over time.
Schedule B will also help you identify whether your body corporate is part of a layered scheme.
By-laws (Schedule C)
By-laws are the rules for living in a particular community title scheme. They assist the body corporate to manage the general appearance of the lots and common property and to provide those living in the scheme with peaceful use and enjoyment of their lot and common property.
For example, a by-law may require owners to seek prior approval from the body corporate before bringing their pet onto the scheme land, or before installing an air conditioning unit on a common property wall.
If a by-law is registered in the CMS it can be enforced by the body corporate.
Other details (Schedule D)
Other details that may be included in Schedule D include easements relevant to the scheme. In a community title scheme, an easement can exist in either a lot or common property, giving rights to enter or use another lot or common property. Additionally, a statutory easement may exist, inevitably creating rights for the party that the easement benefits.
Exclusive use by-laws (Schedule E)
An exclusive use by-law is a specific type of by-law that, unlike the by-laws found in Schedule C that apply for the benefit of everyone in the scheme, apply only for the benefit of a particular lot. Often exclusive use by-laws will, for example, grant rights to use a particular common property car park to an owner or occupier. When exclusive use is granted over common property, details of this, and a plan showing the area involved, will be included in Schedule E.