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Cult Australian film The Castle is about as close as most people will get to seeing their home sold out from under them. ‘It’s Mabo, it’s the vibe’, has entered every bush lawyer’s lexicon.

But the concept of being forced out of your home may become more real with planned changes to strata law in Queensland.

The State Government plans to give bodies corporate the power to force the sale of lots if they reach a 75% threshold. We haven’t seen this much enquiry about a proposed law in some time.

But everyone is getting way ahead of themselves.

The prospect of the forced sale of lots first popped up more than 20 years ago. At that time, it was denounced as Un-Australian. A person’s home is their castle, right?

What the government has announced is a body corporate can force the sale of the minority lot owners where the majority of 75% wants to go and it is more financially viable for owners to sell than to maintain or remediate a scheme.

We have seen none of the detail yet, and everyone can be confident that there will need to be some serious work done before any of this becomes actual law. The mechanics of it will be very interesting.

We think it is safe to say that if your building is structurally sound and well maintained that the new laws won’t be relevant to you.

But that hasn’t stopped some scare-campaigning already. So, stay alert – but irrespective of which side of the forced sale fence you may be on, there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it yet.

To read more about the government’s plan, see here.

Article Contributed by Frank Higginson Hynes Legal

Leave a Reply

  1. Glenn

    Why is it that Body Corporate law, body corporate managers and lawyers and the SCA are filled with people wanting to remove all rights from lot owners, penalise them at every turn and destroy their rights just to gain power and feed off them financially.

  2. Sandra St Ledger

    As you say the current State Government is “big” on plans for the future, but unfortunately quite limited (in my personal opinion) in achieving well considered and reasonable outcomes. Hence, we hope you are correct that reacting strongly now is probably less necessary than is keeping up to date and staying informed.

    It is unfortunately my personal experience that the current State Members I have contacted re Body Corporate issues, are generally quite lacking in accurate knowledge re current strata legislation so it gives me very limited confidence in future decisions. It is unfortunately also my experience that too many unit owners vote outside their own best interests through ignorance and under the influence of other parties within the building.

    Getting 75% of owners to agree to a course of action is not that difficult.

    Perhaps the ballot box (for voting both within the industry and in government elections) is the best way to ensure that decisions within your building and re the strata industry in general, are more structured to the needs of owners within the industry, and less influenced by developers etc who seem to enjoy far more consideration at more than one level of government than do the actual owners. We should certainly think hard, stay informed and challenge current and prospective candidates on building conditions and industry policy before we vote for future elections of both committees and parliamentary candidates.

  3. Judi Weston

    ”property investors abandon Qld market”

  4. Allan Piper

    Dear Laura Gerber MP
    Re 75% unit-block sale legislation
    I own the ocean-facing top floor lot in a block of six.
    A developer this year had offered to buy the entire site.
    Five wanted to sell.
    I didn’t.
    The 75% law has it I can challenge the decision of the five in court.
    1 I take it I would need to engage an engineer to prove the building is sound.
    2 I take it I would need to engage a lawyer.
    Your government is the cause of these costs.
    3 Will your government be paying my costs?
    Has the burden of these costs even been considered?
    Would you please let me know.
    Would you please provide me with the appeal procedure.