Thinking about joining your body corp… hmm…

February 10, 2016

Photo: Bench Accounting

Okay, go outside and look for cranes or high rises going up in your neighbourhood, and then come back… I’ll wait.

Did you see quite a few? Yep, Brisbane is churning out new apartment blocks around the clock, and the governing requirement of community living is going to be the best part of a would-be Body Corporate Manager’s day.

So before you put your hand up for that representative role (I thought it would be great to give back to my community), let me vent – I mean share.

I live in an inner-city, early 70s built block of six townhouses. Great location, nice outlook, glimpses of the city, a small courtyard to enjoy the outdoors, a pretty good bunch of neighbours (though there is always one) and a surprisingly healthy Body Corporate sinking
fund!

Seemingly, as a Small Schemes Body Corporate, there has never been a need to engage the services of a Body Corporate Management company. Busy with life and a little naive in the beginning of my home-ownership, I was blindingly happy with this arrangement.

It was only after I attended two Committee Meetings and an AGM that I began to grit my teeth at the very thought of spending an hour, sometimes more, with the (then) five owners to ‘discuss matters’.

I came to dread attending those meetings; held for no other gainful purpose than to satisfy a faulty ego or to provide someone with a platform to express their need for control. I didn’t hit the bottle before going but on occasion, I did pour a glass or two when I got home!

Now, 16 years down the track, reluctantly, I have taken on the role of Secretary and Treasurer. This duo role fell into my hands at the last AGM by unanimous votes. I think it was a set-up but neighbours insist otherwise.

Here’s what I’ve learnt:

  • This should never replace a hobby;
  • Know that agreeing to disagree won’t always solve the problem;
  • There is no financial gain. You are doing it for the love of it;
  • Spare time doesn’t exist once you go down this path: there are blocked drains to be cleared; stair treads to be repaired; fencing to be re-erected; trees to be lopped; asbestos to be removed, collection of quarterly fees; emails from ‘that one neighbour’ having a whinge; and, that other neighbour asking if and when this and that will be done.

On the bright side, if I have issues or want something done quickly, I know who to go to—me, the go-to-girl. Plus, it might look good on my resume if I ever want a career change, and it might score me brownie points in the afterlife… if I don’t become the wicked witch of the west first!

Jane Wilson
Jane Wilson is a Brisbane born writer, blogger, travel guru and coffee queen! She has a passion for quirk; retro and kitsch. With an adventurous spirit she has lived interstate and overseas - seven years loving life in London. Her career path has wound its way through the realms of radio, print media, advertising and for the most part of 20 years, travel and tourism.

If Jane isn’t at the keyboard, you might find her musing at a local cafe, browsing charity shops, at the beach, renovating or walking along the river happy-snapping pics of life back in Brissie!

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