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The Queensland Government recently announced that the amendments passed into law late last year will come into effect from the 1st of May 2024. That bill introduced some significant changes to the BCCMA.

To recap, below are some of the key changes that will soon come into effect.

  • Allowing an owner or occupier’s car to be towed if it is parked in contravention of the schemes by-laws without the need to first follow through the by-law enforcement process (i.e. issuing contravention notices and then if necessary, commencing enforcement proceedings in the Commissioner’s Office or ultimately the Magistrates Court).
  • Allowing a body corporate to ban smoking on the common property (not only enclosed areas) or all or part of an ‘outdoor area’ of a lot or exclusive use area, which includes balconies, courtyards, patios, and verandas.
  • Clarifying pet approval conditions and reducing the issues which the committee can consider (such as type, number, or size). The amendments make it clear that a by-law cannot prohibit, or restrict the number, type, or size of animals that an occupier may keep or bring onto their lot or the common property. This simply supports what has been in practice for many years based on a consistent position taken by the Commissioner’s office.
  • Providing a new mechanism to terminate, and sell, a scheme if it is no longer economically viable for the scheme to continue to operate.

Other, less publicised changes include:

  • Removing reference to the use of a body corporate seal.
  • Assisting principal bodies corporate in enforcing by-laws against subsidiary owners and occupiers.
  • Providing better access to body corporate records within a layered arrangement.
  • Updating the codes of conduct for Body Corporate Managers and Caretaking Service Contractors.
  • Allowing adjudicators to authorise lesser insurances for the scheme (rather than needing the Commissioner to approve such applications).
  • Allowing Bodies Corporate to change their financial year by ordinary resolution once each 5-year period without the need for an adjudicator’s order to do so.

Ultimately these amendments will be seen as welcome change by many owners. Certainly, any changes that afford Bodies Corporate additional rights to better regulate and manage common issues impacting their schemes are to be supported.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the amendments and how this might impact your scheme.