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SEQ Strata Law Reform Seminars – That’s a Wrap (QLD)

The first round of community education seminars held in South East Queensland concluded with over 500 stakeholders in attendance. A complete sell out for the Brisbane event demonstrated the high level of interest in Strata Law Reform and what it means for the industry.

Keynote speakers Commissioner Chris Irons, Legal Expert Frank Higginson (Hynes Legal) and Shadow Fair Trading Minster Jarrod Bleijie (MP) were very well received by the audiences presenting in detail the latest QUT recommendations into Strata Law Reform summarised as follows:


Unsurprisingly parking issues are a recurrent theme and the fifth most disputed matter in the Commissioner’s office. Under current law, a vehicle can only be legally towed following an Adjudicators order. It was also confirmed that the Body Corporate has a duty to uphold the by-laws and follow the current process requiring enforcement of an order made before towing occurs.

The recommendations aim for a far quicker process that allows towing to occur in particular urgent circumstances, which must be reasonable and provide an opportunity to the offender to remedy the parking breach.


Pets are a highly emotive topic in strata living as demonstrated by an article published in the Sunshine Coast daily the day after the local seminar that can be read here.

Under the current law, the Body Corporate Committee must be reasonable when making decisions about pets and cannot impose a blanket ban. The Committee can regulate the keeping of pets by imposing reasonable conditions. Should these conditions not be met than the Committee can apply for an adjudication order to have the pet removed.

The new recommendations suggest that a resolution without dissent (no opposition) can be passed to impose a pet free building. The decision will not apply to existing pets however once they pass away or move out, cannot be replaced after such a resolution is approved.


Although public acceptance of smoking is steadily declining, to smoke in one’s home which includes the balcony, even when that smoke causes inconvenience to a person in another home, is not enough to be recognised as ‘nuisance’ under current property laws. Unless the smoking interferes unreasonably, but that would only be the case if someone is a chain-smoker, 24-7 as demonstrated in a prior adjudicators order made on this issue.

The review recommends that banning smoking on balconies, common property and areas subject to exclusive use can be done via resolution without dissent.


Currently, imposing a fine which is also known as a monetary liability is not enforceable under the Act.

The recommendations suggest that the Body Corporate might be able to issue fines for by-law breaches with a suggested fine of $121.90 per penalty unit.

Scheme Termination

Currently 100% of owners are required to approve a vote for termination of a scheme. This is despite the condition of the building or whether or not it is commercially viable to maintain it to a liveable standard. Discussion around home owners rights was focused upon and finding a balance between the rights of an owner to live where they choose and also the potential financial impact their choice may have on their neighbours.

The review suggests that only 75% of votes need to be in favour to approve termination. However, there must be good reasons documented in a termination plan such as escalating maintenance costs, defects, asbestos, economic justification. Owners have the opportunity to object to the outcome of the vote either for or against termination and can apply to the district court for a final determination.

 When will the new Laws take affect?

It was pointed out that the QUT recommendations are not law and might not become law. It is important to note that these are recommendations only and might not take effect.   It was also raised that 2017 is an election year and it is unlikely that we will see major changes to Strata Law given the emotive topics to be considered and the impacts they may have on any government that either supports or opposes change.

Smart Strata and foundation partners Archers the Strata Professionals and Marsh Advantage Insurance wish to provide a big thank you to Commissioner Chris Irons, Legal Expert Frank Higginson (Hynes Legal) and Shadow Fair Trading Minster Jarrod Bleijie (MP) for supportively collaborating with Smart Strata and providing free education to the Strata Community.

Another big thank you goes to all our exhibitors, which have provided valuable information and assistance throughout the seminars.

Should you wish to find out more about the services our foundation partners and exhibitors provide, please click on their names below:

Archers the Strata Professionals, Boss Fire Protection,  CMBM Facility Services, Energy Options Australia, Express Glass, Hynes Legal, Marsh Advantage Insurance, Programmed Property Services, StrataLoans, thyssenkrupp Elevators Australia

Session presentations for your reference can be downloaded here. You can also see pictures of the seminars on our Facebook page and see what questions where asked via the events sections:

Sunshine Coast
Gold Coast

Exhibitor Lucky Door Prize Winners Announced

strataloan-john-and-pauline-nolan-managers-at-montana-surfside-apartments-in-mermaid-beach        expressglass       our-luck-door-prize-winner-tony-cmbm

StrataLoan winners John&Pauline,    Express Glass winner Ann           CMBM prize winner Tony
from Montana Surfside Apartments  from Admiralty Quays

Boss Fire Protection winners are Joy, Spinnaker Blue Apartments and Ronda, Regatta Apartments.
Programmed Property Services winner is Greg from St Kitts.
ThyssenKrupp Elevators Australia winner is Alexis at Broadbeach.

This article was contributed by Grant Mifsud from Archers the Strata Professionals.

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