Key Changes to Qld Body Corporate Law

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, The Honourable Yvette D’Ath, has introduced the Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill into Queensland Parliament which makes significant changes.

• Proposed law reforms will better protect ‘off the plan’ home buyers from developers invoking sunset clauses.

• Changes will allow bodies corporate to prohibit smoking in outdoor and communal areas.

• Bodies corporate will be prevented from blanket banning pets.

• Termination of body corporate schemes will only require the consent of 75 per cent of owners.

This is the most significant change to Queensland Body Corporate and has been developed with significant consultation with SCAQ through the Community Titles Legislation Working Group. We thank each and every member who has participated and helped drive positive reform.

The changes to body corporate law will:

• Allow bodies corporate to make by-laws that prohibit smoking (including vapes) on common property or an outdoor area such as a balcony.

• Make clear that regularly exposing a person in another unit or on common property to second-hand smoke is a nuisance, hazard and unreasonable interference that should not be occurring.

• Prevent bodies corporate from making by-laws banning pets in community titles schemes.

• Clarify and enhance the ability for bodies corporate to tow vehicles from common property in a timely manner.

• Allow for an adjudicator to approve for a body corporate to put in place alternative insurance when it cannot comply with the required level of insurance for particular buildings.

• Enhance by-law enforcement and access to records in more complex layered arrangements of community titles schemes.

• Enhance the code of conduct for body corporate managers and caretaking service contractors.

• Clarify and streamline body corporate administrative and procedural matters.

Scheme termination

Scheme termination will require the consent of only 75 per cent of owners in certain circumstances going forward.

The Bill allows for the termination of a community titles scheme with the support of 75 per cent of lot owners, where the body corporate has agreed there are economic reasons for termination which meet defined thresholds.

An economic reason for termination is that it is not economically viable, or will not be economically viable within 5 years, to carry out repairs or maintenance to parts of the property the body corporate is responsible for.

Protections and safeguards for lot owners will be part of the new process, including requirements for professional reports and other information to inform decision making about economic reasons.

There will also be minimum compensation requirements for lot owners, and review and dispute resolution pathways including provisions to reduce lot owners’ exposure to costs associated with proceedings relating to a proposed termination.

In all other situations, termination of a community titles scheme will still require either that the body corporate pass a resolution without dissent or that an order of the District Court is obtained.

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