Lead Article for March 2019 Newsletter

26 Mar Strata Reform Update – Lot Entitlements and more…

Strata Reform Update – Lot Entitlements and more…

Addressing the opening of the Strata Community Association QLD (SCA) conference last week the Honourable Attorney General Yvette D’Ath has given her strongest indication yet that stage 1 of the review of the Body Corporate and Community Management Regulation modules will be completed this year.

During her opening address, the Attorney General acknowledged the importance of our sector which has seen the number of occupied apartments grow by 78% nationally in the 25 years to 2016. The Attorney also provided a positive update on the government’s position on lot entitlements and the progress of the strata law reform recommendations from QUT and industry stakeholders such as SCA which has been ongoing since 2013.

In an unexpected announcement, the Attorney General advised that the government’s position on the controversial topic of setting and the adjustment of lot entitlements was that given there has been no stakeholder support for the QUT recommendations the Government has decided that there is to be no further changes to laws surrounding the setting and the adjustment of lot entitlements.

People who buy into Bodies Corporate should do so with certainty and not be subject to ongoing changes or risk of changes to their financial contributions. In conjunction will this announcement the government also advised it will undertake further work to significantly strengthen seller disclosure requirements. Its position is that transparency is key for anyone buying into a scheme. The buyer should have clear disclosure on all fees payable across all lots within the community title scheme not just the one they are buying into.

The Attorney General also provided an update on where the review of the regulation modules which I wrote about in January is at. This part of the review is being undertaken in a two-stage process and the positive news was that stage 1 which includes the review of the regulation modules is well underway.

Government will be releasing the draft regulations for public consultation mid this year and are expected to contain 40 of the 69 recommendations, the attorney also made it clear the review must be completed before the end of the year when the regulations expire. Specifically, the review and amendments are expected to address procedural issues from administrative matters around AGM’s, electronic service of documents and voting, body corporate spending, and committee membership.

Stage 2 will see the government focus on critical issues surrounding by laws, scheme termination and debt recovery.

See here for QUT’s full set of final recommendations: Government Property Law Review – Final

Recommendations – Procedural Issues under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (PDF, 1.3 MB).

We will keep you updated and informed on this topic over the next few months.

Simon-Barnard-Circle Strata Reform Update - Lot Entitlements and more...

Simon Barnard is the Managing Director and Principal of Hartley’s Body Corporate Management which is a medium sized strata firm established in 2004 at Sherwood and now operating out of Graceville, Newstead, North Lakes and Bribie Island. Simon is in his 6th year as President of the Board of Strata Community Australia (QLD) and was recently recognised for his service to the industry with a fellowship of the organisation and Life Membership.

Simon also is a past board member on the SCA National Board and is engaged at an International level through many consultative groups and associations. He meets regularly with the Industry Stakeholders group which is convened by the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management and the Office of the Attorney General and actively engages at all levels of government.

Simon has recently been invited to represent the Strata industry on the QLD Government Ministerial Housing Consultative Committee tasked with advising on developing and delivering quality housing outcomes for people and communities. His contributions at an International, National and State level involve working with key stakeholders and government to ensure lot owners, industry employees, suppliers and Bodies Corporate needs are addressed through Government policy reform, education and training.