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REIQ Journal : August 2008
28 Legal Issues Case update: Rogers v Body Corporate for the Waterloo Crest & Anor revisited By Paul Hopkins, Senior Partner, Carter Newell Lawyers The February 2008 issue of the REIQ Journal provided a summary of the Queensland Supreme Court decision Rogers v Body Corporate for Waterloo Crest CTS 25235 & Anor  QSC 369. This decision examined the scope of the duty of care owed by the property manager and body corporate of a unit complex to the residents of the complex. The claim In that decision the plaintiff, who was a tenant at a unit complex, sustained an injury when she fell down a flight of stairs located in the common area of the complex. The plaintiff claimed that she had turned on a light in the stairwell located outside her unit door by pressing the button in the centre of the pneumatic timer switch. The light was REIQ Journal August 2008 on as she began to descend the stairs, but switched off after she had reached the first step, whereupon her heel slipped and she fell down about four steps and struck her head on an internal brick wall. The plaintiff instituted proceedings against the body corporate and the property manager, alleging that they had failed to provide and maintain adequate lighting in the stairwell. The body corporate sought a complete indemnity or contribution from the property manager on the basis that the property manager had failed to properly manage the property. The plaintiff alleged that the timer light switch had been faulty the entire time that she had lived in the unit. She also claimed that she had made a number of complaints to the property manager about the stairwell lights and the unit in general. The property management file contained written records of a number of complaints made by the plaintiff; however, there was no record of any complaint being made in relation to the timer light switch.