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New laws to modernise Queensland body corporates

By Bianca Dabu
29 December 2020 | 1 minute read

The new year will usher in new body corporate laws aimed at reducing costs and enhancing protection for body corporate owners across Queensland.

The Queensland government has modernised the Body Corporate and Community Management Act (BCCMA) to include new procedure regulations, including those that permit electronic voting and meeting attendance, allow for the use of email, and encourage the early identification and remedy of building defects.

The new regulations, to take effect from 1 March 2021, follow widespread industry consultation and the property law review undertaken by the Queensland University of Technology.

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Highlights of the new regulations include:

1. Electronic voting and attendance

Sparked by COVID-19 implications, the new laws will permit electronic voting and attendance at meetings, including the use of “live” electronic voting and remote personal attendance by teleconference or video-conference.

To prevent “proxy farming”, a person will only be able to vote on motions at a general meeting, under the authority of a power of attorney for one lot owner. New “group of same-issue motions” procedures will also apply. More flexible quorum requirements for general meetings will also apply.

The use of email and other forms of electronic communication for the exchange of information and documents within body corporates will also be permitted.

2. Committees

The new regulations will clarify and improve the list of documents that original owners (developers) must provide to body corporates to facilitate effective governance of the scheme.

There are several other changes for body corporate committees to be aware of, including:

  • Eligibility of any two committee members cannot derive from ownership of the same lot (except in certain circumstances)
  • Motions under consideration will have a set time frame of six weeks (which may be extended to 12 weeks if required)
  • Committee members will have up to 21 days to respond to votes outside a committee meeting
  • The ability to approve insurance policies for schemes to avoid unnecessary delays and risks
  • Any committee member who owes a body corporate debt will be ineligible to vote at a committee meeting or by a vote outside a committee meeting

3. Owner protection

The new body corporate laws will also encourage early identification and remedy of building defects by requiring body corporates to consider motions to prepare defect assessment reports at second annual general meetings.

To further improve protections for owners, body corporate managers and caretakers will also be required to disclose the amount of monetary benefit they are entitled to receive if a body corporate enters into an insurance policy or other contract, with new schemes to be subject to defect assessment requirements.

Another measure included in the new laws will also aim to prevent inducements or rewards being given to committee members for preferential consideration of contractors.

New laws to modernise Queensland body corporates
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