25 May Temporary New Laws for Bodies Corporate during Covid-19
Temporary New Laws for Bodies Corporate during Covid-19
Last week the QLD Government passed new laws in the form of the Justice and Other Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Act 2020 which included some minor temporary relief measures for owners to help relieve some of the financial burden brought about by government restrictions. Unfortunately, this law did not extend to relief around e-meetings but we understand the Government is still considering some changes separately in this area. Hopefully, that will come faster than the seven years it has taken them to update current legislation for bodies corporate of which we still patiently await.
The changes and what they are:
For Bodies Corporate governed under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997, the Act includes temporary measures from commencement (date TBA) until 31 December 2020 to:
1. Allow bodies corporate to, by ordinary resolution, adopt a sinking fund budget for the current financial year that does not meet the usual requirements to provide for capital expenditure for the next 9 years. A body corporate that has already adopted its budget may, by ordinary resolution, adjust it to reduce the amount for capital expenditure for future years, but if it does so, must refund any overpaid amounts to owners.
2. Allow committees to extend the due date for payment of levies for a particular owner if the committee is reasonably satisfied the owner is experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency, or for all owners generally. This date, however, cannot be later than the end of the financial year.
3. Prevent bodies corporate from charging a late payment penalty for overdue levies that is payable during the relevant period being 2 months before the commencement of this act until the 1 February 2021.
4. Allow bodies corporate to delay recovery action for certain unpaid levies until after the end of the emergency period.
5. Double the maximum amounts that bodies corporate may borrow by ordinary resolution.
As always it is important to remember a body corporate must act reasonably in making decisions that affect the owners in the scheme and should always take into account any long term effects on the body corporate’s ability to meet future funding needs.
Further information is available on the government’s Body Corporate and Community Management in Queensland webpage COVID-19 in bodies corporate
If you have any questions in relation to the above measures or need further support do not hesitate to contact us.
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. As the immediate past President Simon recently completed his 10th year on the Board of Strata Community Association (QLD) 7 of these as president and was recently recognised for his service to the industry with a fellowship of the organisation, Life Membership and the 2020 Presidents Award.
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. 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