Elsewhere in this post
Queensland is gearing up to revise some of its body corporate legislation and submissions are now closed if you wanted to make a submission to the committee assessing the new laws before they are presented to parliament.
However, the finalised proposals will still have to go before parliament, and you will get a chance to lobby your MPs for changes that you think are important.
Missing from the short list of proposed reforms is any mention of the vexed issue of the pre-sale and one-sided terms and ridiculously lengthy durations of on-site caretaker management contracts.
That, apparently, will be part of the next tranche of proposals due next year. It will be interesting to see what will be left, after the developers and caretaker manager get their hooks into reforms. Cynical? ARAMA (the property managers’ organisation) proudly boasts on its website that its greatest achievement has been to prevent any “untoward” changes to legislation.
So, for now, these changes are mostly merely bringing Queensland laws on sunset clauses, pets, smoking and “forced sales” of buildings that are past their use-by dates, into line with Victorian and NSW legislation.
We are indebted to our friends at the Unit Owners Association Of Queensland (OUAQ) for sending out the following reminder.
On 24 August 2023 the Honourable Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence introduced the Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 (the Bill) into the Queensland Parliament.
The Bill was referred to the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee (LASC) who are responsible for conducting an inquiry into the legislation. This means that the legislative amendments have not been passed as law yet.
About the Bill
The proposed changes include:
- allow for the termination of uneconomic community titles schemes (for example, unit blocks) for defined economic reasons with the agreement of 75 per cent of lot owners;
- strengthen protection for ‘off the plan’ home buyers from developers invoking sunset clauses in contracts for the sale of land;
- permit bodies corporate to prohibit smoking in outdoor and communal areas;
- prevent bodies corporate from blanket banning pets;
- clarify and enhance the ability for bodies corporate to tow vehicles from common property in a timely manner.
Objective of the Bill
The Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (BCCM Act) provides for the establishment, administration, and termination of community titles schemes. The BCCM Act sets out the legislative framework for community titles schemes, addressing a wide range of matters including governance and decision-making structures, meeting requirements, financial and property management, insurance, and by-laws.
The Land Sales Act 1984 (Land Sales Act) regulates contracts for what are commonly known as ‘off the plan’ sales of land in Queensland (more technically, the sale of proposed lots). Provisions dealing with ‘off the plan’ sales of apartments and other lots proposed to be included in community titles-style developments in Queensland are contained in the BCCM Act, the Building Units and Group Titles Act 1980 (BUGT Act),and the South Bank Corporation Act 1989 (South Bank Act).
The policy objectives of the Bill are to:
- deliver a key action of the 2022 Queensland Housing Summit by reforming the BCCM Act to allow for termination of uneconomic community titles schemes to facilitate renewal and redevelopment;
- deliver a 2020 election commitment to implement amendments to the BCCM Act to allow an adjudicator the power to approve alternative insurance arrangements, and make supporting amendments to complement this change;
- modernise and improve the operation of the BCCM Act in relation to by-laws and other governance issues, including administrative and procedural matters;
- strengthen buyer protections under the Land Sales Act by limiting when sunset clauses can be used to terminate ‘off the plan’ contracts for the sale of land; and
- make minor amendments to confirm the policy intent of existing provisions of the BCCM Act, BUGT Act, Land Sales Act, and South Bank Act (collectively referred to as the relevant Acts) about the release of deposits paid by buyers under ‘off the plan’ contracts for the sale of land (Land Sales Act) or lots in community titles-style developments (BCCM Act, BUGT Act, and South Bank Act).
From August 2013 to January 2018, the Commercial and Property Law Research Centre of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) undertook a broad- ranging, independent review of Queensland’s property laws (Property Law Review) for the Government. Among other things, the review considered aspects of the BCCM Act and related legislation, including scheme termination, by-laws, and procedural issues.
Relevant recommendations of the Property Law Review were considered by the Community Titles Legislation Working Group (CTL Working Group), which is comprised of key stakeholders from the community titles sector. This consideration has informed the amendments being pursued under policy objectives 1 and 3 above. While views of the CTL Working Group have also informed policy objective 2, alternative insurance arrangements were not within the scope of the Property Law Review. Policy objectives 4 and 5 concern property law matters that are not limited to the community titles sector and were not part of the Property Law Review or the CTL Working Group’s terms of reference.
Call for submissions
The committee is calling for submissions on the Bill by 5:00pm Saturday, 2 September 2023.
The easiest way to lodge your submission is to do it online using this link: Submissions
Submissions by email or post
Submissions should be sent to:
LASC@parliament.qld.gov.au or Committee Secretary, Legal Affairs and Safety Committee, Parliament House, George Street, Brisbane Q 4000
Submissions must include:
· the author’s name
· if the submission is made on behalf of an organisation, the level of approval (e.g. a local branch, executive committee or national organisation), and
· at least two of the following
o mailing address
o email address
o daytime telephone number.
Please note: Your name and submission may be published on the committee’s inquiry webpage unless you request for your name to be withheld or your submission to be confidential, or both.
Please read the parliament’s guide to making a submission, and ensure your submission includes the above information or it may not be considered by the committee.
The committee will hold a public hearing on Thursday, 7 September 2023. Details will be posted on the committee’s web page.If you are interested in appearing at the public hearing to speak with the committee, please contact the committee secretariat on (07) 3553 6641 or by email LASC@parliament.qld.gov.au by no later than 4:00pm Thursday, 31 August 2023.
The committee will hold a public briefing on Monday, 11 September 2023. Details will be posted on the committee’s web page.
The Explanatory Notes and Statement of Compatibility with human rights for the Bill are also available at:
- Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 Explanatory Notes; and
- Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 Statement of Compatibility.
Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel at www.legislation.qld.gov.au.
If you have any queries please contact the committee secretariat on (07) 3553 6641 or by email LASC@parliament.qld.gov.au.