Reforms make it easier to redevelop ageing units in Queensland
Published Thursday, 16 February, 2023 at 09:40 AM
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
- Proposed changes to body corporate legislation will make it easier for units to be redeveloped
- The changes would allow for the termination of a community titles scheme with the support of 75 per cent of lot owners.
- Bodies corporate would be able to prohibit smoking in outdoor and communal areas, to better protect residents from second hand smoke
- Bodies corporate would be prevented from banning pets, except in specific circumstances.
Following the October 2022 Housing Summit, the Palaszczuk Government has announced reforms to body corporate legislation to make it easier to sell and redevelop ageing or rundown community titles schemes in Queensland.
Currently, a community titles scheme may only be terminated if no owner opposes the termination of the scheme, or if the District Court is satisfied it is just and equitable to terminate it.
The changes will allow for the termination of a scheme with the support of 75 per cent of lot owners, where the body corporate has agreed it is more financially viable for lot owners to terminate rather than maintain or remediate the scheme.
In all other situations, termination of a scheme will still require that no owners dissent to the termination in order for it to be approved.
Government will also strengthen laws to better protect residents from second hand smoke by empowering bodies corporate to make by-laws that prohibit smoking in outdoor and communal areas of a community titles scheme.
In addition, pet owners will be protected by changes that will prevent bodies corporate from banning pets in community titles schemes, except in specific circumstances.
This package of reforms will also improve body corporate governance and management, including by making it easier for residents to lodge disputes, and expanding adjudicators’ powers.
These changes also include allowing bodies corporate to tow vehicles which are preventing access or causing a hazard.
Consultation on the draft legislation will occur this year.
These reforms follow the October 2022 Housing Summit, which included scheme termination reform as a key outcome.
The following quotes can be attributed to Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman:
“Stakeholders made it clear at the Queensland Housing Summit that scheme termination was a key area that required reform – and the Palaszczuk Government has listened.”
“I’ve heard many stories of rundown units, townhouses or complexes with unsustainable ongoing maintenance costs where owners want to terminate, but a single owner blocks this from occurring.”
“The Government recognises that some owners may not wish to sell their unit or move to a new home so termination arrangements must balance the rights and interests of all lot owners in a scheme.”
“The new process will include safeguards to protect owners in the minority who do not support termination. If the body corporate approves a termination plan, a dissenting owner will be able to make an application to the District Court, which would consider a set of just and equitable factors in deciding whether the termination should proceed.”
“We also know that pets are important to many Queenslanders and that, as more people choose to live in community titles schemes, keeping animals is an increasingly pertinent issue.”
“Second-hand smoke can be a serious concern, and these laws will ensure that bodies corporate are able to make more substantial decisions about the health and wellbeing of residents.”
“We are delivering on our commitment to consult on changes to Queensland’s community titles legislation and will continue working with the Community Titles Legislation Working Group to consider further reforms, like management rights, bullying, and harassment.”
“This is the first of two planned packages of reform for body corporate legislation in Queensland. I intend to introduce the second package of reforms before the end of the year.”
Media contact: Phoenix Campbell - 0439 949 719