Draft Regulations- Last Chance To Have Your Say - SSKB

Draft Regulations- Last Chance To Have Your Say


Draft regulation - last chance to have your say

 In August, The Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2008 was released for Queensland and we got a first look at some of the proposed changes. New draft regulations have been released for consultation. The new regulation modules will include reforms that will streamline Body Corporate procedures.

Below is a summary of the reforms to each of the five regulation modules.

Standard Module

The reforms in the Standard Module are centralised around Body Corporate Committee Membership, Committee Meetings, First Annual General Meeting, General Meetings, Body Corporate Managers and Caretaking Service Contractors, Financial Management, Property Management, Insurance and Administrative Matters.

Some of the main changes that have been proposed include:

Proposed change: 

Committee members will no longer be able to receive direct or indirect benefits from a caretaking service contractor or service contractor without the authorisation from the Body Corporate. (Relevant section: 81; Supporting section: 8).

Consequence: 

There will be no advantage for committee members to recommend someone for their personal benefit.

Practical example: 

The committee would be able to consider quotations based on the quality of service offered and the price.

Proposed change: 

Facilitate voting in committee elections at a general meeting by electronic vote. (Relevant sections: 21-23, 25, 27-29, 31, 35).

Consequence:

 This will enable more owner participation in the election of their committee and clarify the electronic voting process.

Practical example:

 Currently there is no provision for electronic voting for committee elections.

Proposed change:

The committee will be required to approve the agenda for each general meeting. The approval may take place at a committee meeting or by vote outside of a committee meeting. (Relevant section: 95).

Consequence: 

The committee are responsible for the items that appear on the AGM agenda. Any extraordinary general meeting will now require a committee meeting to approve the agenda.

Practical example:

  SSKB provide a list of the motions for the AGM, along with wording for non-statutory motions, to the committee at each budget meeting for approval.

Accommodation Module

The reforms in the Accommodation Module are centralised around Body Corporate Committee Membership, Committee Meetings, First Annual General Meeting, General Meetings, Body Corporate Managers and Caretaking Service Contractors, Financial Management, Property Management, Insurance and Administrative Matters.

Some of the main changes that have been proposed include:

Proposed change:

Clarify when co-owners or representatives of lot owners can be a voting member of the Body Corporate committee based on ownership of more than one lot. (Relevant Section: 12).

Consequence:

This will clarify how many ‘family’ members can be elected to committee.

Practical example:

Currently where a couple own a lot, one can nominate for committee and the other can become a nominee representative for another lot. This was often helpful where there was a lack of nominations for committee positions.

Proposed change:

If a member of a Body Corporate submits a motion to the Secretary for consideration by the Committee, as soon as reasonably practicable the Committee must include the submitted motion on the agenda for the next committee meeting. Alternatively, they can decide the motion outside of a committee meeting. (Relevant Section: 50).

Consequence:

Committees can sometime maintain that any matter submitted for consideration by the committee wait until the next formal meeting, this change will ensure that all matters are considered within a reasonable time frame.

Practical example:

Where there may be a situation where constant requests for a decision by committee are received, this may cause additional expense in committees being required to consider Votes Outside Committee. There may also be different interpretations on what is considered ‘reasonable’.

Proposed change:

The current requirements for disclosure of details about each insurance policy held by the Body Corporate at the annual general meeting will be extended. This will include providing information such as the disclosure of the name of any insurance broker or intermediary involved with the taking out of the policy and details of any benefit given, or to be given, by any insurance broker or intermediary. (Relevant Section: 182)

Consequence:

Owners will be provided with the complete details of the body corporate’s insurance cover.

Practical example:

Owners requests usually relate to the name of the Broker in relation to lodging a claim or how to lodge a claim, and often require a Certificate of Currency not the insurance policy details.

Commercial Module

The reforms in the Commercial Module are centralised around Body Corporate Committee Membership, Committee Meetings, First Annual General Meeting, General Meetings, Body Corporate Managers and Caretaking Service Contractors, Property Management, Insurance and Administrative Matters.

Some of the main changes that have been proposed include:

Proposed change:

Streamline the appointment of committee members in community titles schemes with 3 or more lots and only 3 different owners for all the lots. This will be done by deeming the committee in these schemes consists of 3 individuals who are owners, or the nominees of owners, of lots. (Relevant Section: 12).

Consequence:

 The requirement to establish a committee will be easier to achieve with the reduced number of committee members required.

Practical example:

 The ability to appoint a nominee of an owner would also assist in the ability to form a committee in these schemes. Commercial schemes often are required to authorise a Body Corporate Manager to carry out the duties of an executive member of the committee.

Proposed change:

Provide that the five-year administrative fund forecast to be provided by the original owner (the Developer) at the first annual general meeting must estimate the cost of common property and asset maintenance, insurance and other recurrent expenditure for the first five financial years of the scheme. (Relevant Section: 54).

Consequence:

Owners will have a clearer understanding of what levies they will be paying.

Practical example:

This will provide for a better understanding of expected outgoings by owners, however expenses can vary once a scheme is established and various maintenance and other items become more apparent.

Proposed change:

Bodies Corporate will be permitted to change how a quorum for a general meeting is to be calculated and the number of voters that must be present personally for a general meeting, within certain limits. (Relevant Section: 57).

Consequence:

This will allow Bodies Corporate to change how a quorum is calculated to suit what best works for their specific scheme.

Practical example:

An existing scheme can determine an established pattern for general meetings and owner participation in actual attendance and voting, especially in larger buildings.  This would eliminate the need for adjourned meetings.

Small Schemes Module

The reforms in the Small Schemes Module are centralised around Body Corporate Committee Membership, Committee Meetings, First Annual General Meeting, General Meetings, Body Corporate Managers, Financial Management, Insurance and Administrative Matters.

Some of the main changes that have been proposed include:

Proposed change:

Clarify when co-owners or representatives of lot owners can be the Secretary or Treasurer of the Body Corporate committee based on ownership of more than one lot. (Relevant Section: 11).

Consequence:

As the Small Schemes Module relates to schemes with six lots or less, this will ensure that the positions of secretary and treasurer are fairly represented.

Practical example:

Currently a person is eligible to be the secretary or treasurer if they are a member of the body corporate and may also be a person nominated by a member of the body corporate.

Proposed change:

Require minutes of general meetings to include the reason given for a motion being ruled out of order. (Relevant Section: 54).

Consequence:

This will allow all owners to understand the reasoning behind the decisions being made.

Practical example:

Currently the Chairperson must give a reason for the motion being ruled out of order, but there is no requirement to minute that reasoning.  As the minutes are a record of decisions made, it will ensure for full and accurate minutes to be kept.

Proposed change:

Provide that a person must not hold more than one proxy for voting at a general meeting. (Relevant Section: 58).

Consequence:

This will stop one person from holding excessive decision-making power.

Practical example:

As Small Schemes consist of six lots or less, it seems that this may be a fairer approach to decision making as long as sufficient participation at meetings is achieved.

Specified Two-Lot Schemes Module

The reforms in the Specified Two-Lot Schemes Module are centralised around Documents to be given by the original owner to the Body Corporate, Property Management and Administrative matters.

Some of the main changes that have been proposed include:

Proposed change:

The list of documents and other information that the original owner of a community titles scheme must hand over to the Body Corporate will be expanded. This will include information such as a development approval and facilities management plan. (Clause: 10, Section: 67).

Consequence:  

Owners will have access to the necessary construction documents and will therefore minimise the amount of correspondence between the Body Corporate and the original owner.

Practical example:

Document are often difficult to locate or obtain after registration or in most cases many years after registration. This can result in an expense to the body corporate to locate and obtain copies.

Proposed change:

Additional contemporary examples of utility infrastructure that relate only to supplying services to an owner’s lot that a lot owner is responsible to maintain will be required to be provided. (Clause: 4, Section: 31).  

Consequence:

This will ensure owners are aware of what they are individually responsible to maintain and assist in the financial management of the scheme.

Practical example:

This will clarify the maintenance requirements of individual owners and allow for the body corporate to set budgets and maintenance plans more accurately.

Proposed change:

Bodies Corporate will be allowed to establish a voluntary defect assessment scheme for community titles schemes that contain standard format plan lots (Clause: 5, Section: 31B).

Consequence:  

This will allow owners to jointly contribute to a Defect Report for their scheme.

Practical example:

Owners would be able to approach any common defect issues in the scheme from a group perspective which could assist in a more cost effective approach as well as ensuring the scheme is maintained at a consistent level.

Now is the chance to have your say. You have until 1 December 2019 to comment on the proposed changes before the regulations are made. You can lodge your submissions by email or post.

Email
QUTreviewBCCM@justice.qld.gov.au

or

Post
Office of Regulatory Policy
Department of Justice and Attorney-General
GPO Box 3111
Brisbane QLD 4001



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