Mahoneys: BCCMA – What is Changing?

On 24 August 2023 the Queensland Parliament introduced the “Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023” (Bill).

The Bill intends to make changes to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (BCCMA) to deliver improvements to, and modernise the operation of, the BCCMA. The proposed changes will affect many day-to-day arrangements for bodies corporate in Queensland.

A summary of the proposed changes include:

1. Scheme termination

The proposed legislation includes:

  • better guidance to the court on when to approve the termination of a scheme;
  • new mechanisms to terminate for economic reasons (with a new threshold of approval contemplating 75% of owners); and
  • partial jurisdiction to consider termination issues in the Commissioner’s Office.

2. Towing of vehicles

The proposed legislation seeks to allow a body corporate to tow an owner or occupier without needing to follow the prescribed by-law enforcement process.

3. Smoking

The proposed legislation:

  • confirms that smoking amounts to a nuisance if an occupier regularly smokes in a way that exposes another person to the smoke drift; and
  • allows a by-law to prohibit smoking on the common property or an outdoor part of a lot.

4. Pets

The proposed legislation:

  • confirms that by-laws cannot prohibit a pet or impose any restriction on the size, type or number of pets;
  • sets out a prescribed timeframe for approval of pets to be given upon the making of an application to the committee; and
  • sets out a number of reasons in which the committee can refuse a pet.

5. Layered scheme arrangements

The proposed legislation:

  • allows a PBC to enforce a by-law against a lot occupier or owner in a subsidiary scheme; and
  • allows record requests to be made by a subsidiary lot owner against a PBC.

6. Insurance difficulties

The proposed legislation allows greater flexibility in seeking approval for insufficient insurance to an adjudicator.

7. Financial year change

The proposed legislation allows a body corporate to change its financial year by passing an ordinary resolution (but can only do so once every 5 years).

8. Other Changes

There are also some changes currently being considered by the Queensland Parliament, to other property legislation, that will impact bodies corporate – including changes to what needs to be disclosed to potential buyers, and restrictions on sunset dates for off the plan sales contracts.

9. What’s next?

The next chapter in the BCCMA will now depend on whether the draft legislation is passed by parliament.

Feel free to contact our dedicated body corporate team if you have any questions about the changes.

Author: Todd Garsden, Mahoneys 

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