Recently the Attorney-General introduced a Bill to make significant changes to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act. While it may be some time before we see these changes in place, given the draft legislation still needs to be vetted by several legislative committees and then must be passed by Parliament, we are pleased to provide you with a summary below.
- Allow Bodies Corporate to prohibit smoking in outdoor and communal areas. Including allowing bodies corporate to make by-laws that prohibit smoking (including vapes) on common property or an outdoor area such as a balcony; Further, the amendments will make clear that regularly exposing a person in another unit or on common property to second-hand smoke is a nuisance, hazard and unreasonable interference that should not be occurring.
- Bodies Corporate will be prevented from making bylaws that impose blanket banning pets or impose other restrictions such as weight limits or the number of pets permitted per lot.
- Clarify and enhance the ability for Bodies Corporate to tow vehicles from common property in a timely manner without needing to seek an order from an adjudicator.
- Better protect ‘off the plan’ home buyers from developers invoking sunset clauses.
- Termination of Body Corporate schemes will only require the consent of 75% of owners where the Body Corporate has agreed there are economic reasons for termination which meet defined thresholds.
- Allow for an Adjudicator to approve for a Body Corporate to put in place alternative insurance when it cannot comply with the required level of insurance.
- Enhance by-law enforcement and access to records in more complex layered arrangements of community titles schemes. This will allow a PBC to enforce a by-law against a lot of occupier or owner in a subsidiary scheme; and
allows record requests to be made by a subsidiary lot Owner against a PBC.
- Enhance the code of conduct for Body Corporate Managers and Caretaking Service Contractors; and
- Clarify and streamline certain Body Corporate administrative and procedural matters, including modernising the application of common seals.
The Bill introduces several long-anticipated amendments, aimed at modernising and improving the operation of the BCCM Act in relation to by-laws and other governance issues, including administrative and procedural matters. It will be interesting to see what, if any amendments are made to the draft Bill and if or perhaps when the draft is passed by Parliament.
Feel free to contact your dedicated Strata Manager if you have any questions about the proposed changes.