The Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2008, will soon be replaced later this year. Queensland now has a first look at the new Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation and some of the proposed changes for the industry.
The consultation draft includes reforms that will streamline Body Corporate procedures. The reforms are centralised around Body Corporate committee membership, committee meetings, the first annual general meeting, general meetings, Body Corporate Managers and caretaking service contractors, financial management, property management, insurance and administrative matters.
Some of the main changes that have been proposed include:
- Proposed change: Committee members will no longer be able to receive direct or indirect benefits from a caretaking service contractor or service contractor without the authorisation from the Body Corporate. (Relevant section: 81; Supporting section: 8).
Consequence: There will be no advantage for committee members to recommend someone for their personal benefit.
Practical example: The standard of work from contractors may increase due to committee members not be receiving direct or indirect benefits from contractors. The committee are able to consider more accurately the quotations considered based on the quality of service offered and the price.
- Proposed change: The committee will be required to approve the agenda for each general meeting. The approval may take place at a committee meeting or by vote outside of a committee meeting. (Relevant section: 95).
Consequence: The committee are responsible for the items that appear on the AGM agenda. Any extraordinary general meeting will now require a committee meeting to approve the agenda.
Practical example: SSKB provide a list of the motions for the AGM, along with wording for non-statutory motions, to the committee at each budget meeting for approval.
- Proposed change: The original owner is to provide the facilities management plan at the first annual general meeting with the inclusion of maintenance and inspection schedules for any maintenance and inspection reasonably required to prevent damage or failure to common property, Body Corporate assets and specified features or relevant schemes. (Relevant section: 98).
Consequence: Without complete disclosure and handover of records from the original owner the body corporate is required to obtain reports, certificates and maintenance schedules at a cost to the body corporate and owners.
Practical example: Body Corporate records and data can be correctly recorded and be available to efficiently manage the common property from the date of handover.
- Proposed change: The current requirements will be extended for disclosure of details about each policy of insurance held by the Body Corporate at the annual general meeting. (Relevant section: 194).
Consequence: The summary of insurance details is included with the AGM agenda however owners generally request copies of a Certificate of Currency rather than policy details.
Practical example: SSKB Currently provide the Insurance Report with the AGM notice for owners with full details provided to the Committee with the Budget meeting agenda
- Proposed change: The Body Corporate must record information required to be on the Body Corporate roll within 14 days after the Body Corporate receives the information (Relevant section: 221)
Consequence: Where an owner does not supply the necessary change or information to the Body Corporate, the owner will not receive advice of body corporate matters, such as their annual general meeting notice and contribution notices, which often results in levy arrears for the owner.
Practical example: Currently information is updated directly to the body corporate records when it is received. Owners are able to notify the body corporate by email or directly online via their Portal.
- Proposed change: The time will be shortened for the owner of a lot, or a mortgagee for a lot, to give particular notices to the Body Corporate from 2 months to 1 month. Notices must be given to the Body Corporate. (Relevant section: 219)
Consequence: this will assist the body corporate to follow up certain roll changes sooner, in particular, where a proposed sale may have occurred.
Practical example: This does not address this issue of solicitors/owners who do not notify the Body Corporate of changes to the roll. There is still no onus on the owner to notify the body corporate as the proposed change does not refer to “must notify…”.
- Proposed change: Where the principal scheme is a layered arrangement of community titles schemes includes more than 7 lots, permit the Body Corporate for the principle scheme to be decided by ordinary resolution to increase the number of voting members of its committee from 7 members to up to 12 members (Relevant section: Schedule, definition maximum number).
Consequence: This will allow for full representation of the subsidiary schemes on the Principal Scheme Committee and thereby each scheme having input to the decisions which ultimately flow through to the subsidiaries.
Practical example: A large layered scheme of more than 6 subsidiary schemes is limited to having voting rights and a place on the Principal Scheme Committee, sometimes having to sit as an invited observer. However, this will only be of benefit to layered schemes of less than 12 subsidiaries. It would have been better to have allowed this to be based on the number of schemes contained in the CMS.
- Proposed change: Facilitate voting in committee elections at a general meeting by electronic vote. (Relevant sections: 21-23, 25, 27-29, 31, 35).
Consequence: This will enable more owner participation in committee voting and clarify the electronic voting process.
Practical example: Currently there is no provision for electronic voting for committee elections.
More substantial changes may occur in 2020 to address other awaited changes including smoking in Strata, making it simpler to redevelop aging Strata buildings and more.
To view all proposed changes of the Standard Module click here.
The Commercial and Property Law Research Centre of the Queensland University of Technology will accept submissions on the proposed amendments until 5:00pm on 18 October 2019. This is your chance for your community and stakeholders to have a say.
To contact SSKB, please click here!