Recommendations on proposed changes to body corporate law


“What has become starkly clear to the Committee throughout its inquiry, is that regardless of whether this Bill is passed or not, the lives of thousands of Queenslander’s will be directly and significantly impacted, both socially and financially.”

Queensland Parliament’s Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee have released several recommendations after a review was conducted on the Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012.

The proposed Bill, if passed, will amend the  Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (BCCM Act) to:

  • remove the requirement for bodies corporate to undertake a process prescribed in Chapter 8, Part 9, Division 4 of the  [BCCM] Act (the 2011 reversion process) to adjust contribution schedule lot entitlements to reflect the original entitlements prior to any, and all, relevant orders of a court, tribunal or specialist adjudicator if a lot owner submits a motion requesting such a change
  • establish a process for contribution schedule lot entitlements that were adjusted pursuant to the 2011 reversion process to be changed to reflect the lot entitlements that applied to the scheme prior to the application of the reversion process
  • remove unnecessary disclosure requirements imposed on sellers of lots in community titles schemes
  • provide jurisdictional consistency for the resolution of disputes about contribution schedule lot entitlement adjustments.

The Committee reviewed the bill as well as over 270 public submissions that were received both for and against the proposed changes.

“The Committee recognises that regardless of what recommendation the Committee makes on this issue, there will be a large group of dissatisfied submitters.”

 

Recommendation 1

That the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice:

(a)  report to Parliament in the first sitting week of 2013 with a detailed plan for addressing the broader issues of lot entitlements in Queensland including an options paper and a proposal for public consultation; and

(b)  introduce further legislation into Parliament  before 30 June 2013 to implement the Government’s preferred solution to the setting and adjustment of lot entitlements.

Recommendation 2

The Bill be passed with significant amendments.

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the Bill retain the relevant provisions which will discontinue the 2011 reversion process with effect from 14 September 2012. In relation to those processes that are deemed to be incomplete by the passage of the Bill, the Committee notes that disaffected persons may attempt to seek compensation from the Government for their costs thrown away on processes enshrined in law that have been removed from under them.

The Government will no doubt consider any claim for compensation on a case by case basis. However the Committee considers that it would be unconscionable for any Government fee charged under the 2011 reversion process, such as lodgement of a CMS with the Titles Office, to be retained if the applicant is prohibited from obtaining any benefit associated with the payment of the fee as a consequence of the provisions in the Bill deeming the process to be invalid.

Recommendation 4

The  Committee recommends that the Bill be amended to include provisions to reimburse any Government fee or charge imposed in relation to a reversion process that is deemed to be an incomplete reversion process under this Bill.

Recommendation 5

The Bill be amended to remove from clause 13, the whole of ‘Division 3  – Reinstatement of last adjustment order entitlements’. That is, the removal from the Bill of the process which will reverse current 2011 reversions. The Committee considers that there have been a number of issues raised in submissions which the Department has stated should be considered as part of the Attorney-General’s broader review of lot entitlements but would not be dealt with as part of the consideration for this Bill. The Committee acknowledges appropriate consequential amendments may also be required to give effect to Recommendation 5.

Alternate Recommendation 6

Should the Bill retain the reinstatement process, the Bill should be amended to ensure adjustment orders deemed to be pre-commencement orders under the 2011 amendments be given effect under the Bill to allow them to be brought within the scope of the reinstatement process.

Recommendation 7

The Bill retain the amendments to remove the disclosure requirements introduced by the  Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2011.

Recommendation 8

The Bill retain the amendments to provide jurisdictional consistency for the resolution of disputes about contribution schedule lot entitlement adjustments in so far as they do not relate to the proposed Division 3 – Reinstatement of Last Adjustment Entitlements. Should Recommendation 5 not be accepted, the Committee considers that Parts 3 & 4 of the Bill, should be retained as drafted to ensure consistency for disputes that may arise under the process outlined in Division 3.

To read the full Committee report click here.

 

HAVE YOUR SAY! What do you think of these recommendations? 

 



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