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Law Reform – All Draft Regulations Released

The Queensland Government has released draft regulations with consultation extended to 30 October 2019. This announcement is an update on the recent release of the standard regulation module which we previously wrote about Here.

The latest draft regulations include:

The Queensland Government have also released the draft of the BCCM Regulation 2019 which deals with prescribed fees under the Act.

What is changing

The new regulation modules propose reforms to streamline and modernise procedures, reduce costs and enhance protections for property owners. A summary of changes for each regulation module can be viewed in the release.

The Queensland Government has stated that the reforms to the regulation modules have been developed after extensive stakeholder and community consultation about the recommendations of the review of property law in Queensland that was conducted by the Commercial and Property Law Research Centre of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

The changes included in the consultation drafts relate primarily to QUT’s recommendations about body corporate procedural issues, which were contained their report, Final recommendations: Procedural Issues under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997. Our summary of the final recommendations from 2017 can be read Here.

How to have your say

The release of the consultation drafts provides you the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes before the regulations are made. Submissions can be made direct via contact details provided in Queensland Government release on draft regulations.

If you would like to submit your views on the drafts to assist us in the preparation of a submission we will contribute towards in consultation with industry peak body Strata Community Associated QLD, please add your comments in the reply section below. Alternatively, please come along and join us later this week at our community education seminar by registering Here.

This article was contributed by Stephen McCulloch, Partner – Archers the Strata Professionals.

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  1. Trevor Balmforth

    I live in Victoria Towers, Southport (CTS 42972) and I am a member of the current Body Corporate Committee.

    The building was completed in 2011 and in April 2012, the Caretaking and Letting Agreements were approved at the AGM. It operated under the Accommodation Module (25 – years maximum Caretaker Agreement length – expiry 2037).

    In December 2012, the Module was changed to the Standard Module (10 – year maximum Caretaker Agreement length).

    In January 2016, the then Caretaker assigned the Agreement to our current Caretaker. At this time there were 21 years remaining on the Agreement.

    Our current Caretaker now wants to increase the length of his Agreement back to 25 years. He also has legal advice saying that this is OK.

    In my opinion, had we still been operating under the Accommodation Module, this would be possible, subject to Body Corporate approval. However, since we now operate under the Standard Module, The maximum length of Caretaker Agreements is 10 years, so his request for an increase in length of Agreement is contrary to the BCCM Act, whether the Body Corporate approve it or not.

    On reading the pertinent parts of the Act, I find it very ambiguous. But if my assumption is correct, the current Caretaker cannot extend the length of his agreement until 2027.

    The Act could be much more specific in explaining the pertinent regulations.

    It would be good to receive a definitive opinion on this matter, but I understand that you cannot give legal opinions.

    I can supply documents from Frank Higginson from Haynes Lawyers acting for the Caretaker and Andrew Kyle from ABJK Lawyers acting for the Body Corporate. They both think it is OK to extend the length of the Agreement, subject to Body Corporate approval.

    I am confused. My reading of the Act says it is not possible under the Act, but two lawyers say it is……….

  2. Jason Carlson

    Hi Trevor, I suspect Stephen is unlikely to second guess the legal opinions of two different law firms on this issue. If the issue is of significant importance to the committee, then the committee could seek a further legal opinion or perhaps seek more clarity from its existing legal advisor. Aside from that, a lot owner has the right to challenge the validity of a resolution passed in general meeting, but that application should be made within three months of the meeting. However, be mindful that an adjudicator has a limited ability to make a costs order of up to $2,000 if an application is dismissed for being misconceived, so you should seek your own legal advice before bringing that challenge given two different law firms have already given their views on it. Best wishes, Jason.