The Queensland body corporate legislation has been under review for some years now, and the proposed key changes to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (Qld) Regulation Modules will come into effect from 1st March 2021.
For ease of reference, we’ve summarised these key changes for you into two main categories.
- Co-owners of lots can now both be voting Committee members for each lot they own. This provides more flexibility where people co-own multiple lots.
- Owners may now submit motions for Committee meetings. The Committee must consider the motion within 6 weeks but can extend that time for another 6 weeks, subject to the Committee providing reasons for the extension. If the Committee does not consider the motions within the timeframe, the motions are taken as not agreed. An owner may only submit six motions per 12-month period.
- Owners can now appoint a representative to attend a Committee meeting on their behalf. A representative can be a family member or a Power of Attorney, or a Corporation can appoint a nominee.
- Committee members (or the lot who nominated them) must now be financial to vote at a Committee meeting. The practical impact of this is that the Body Corporate financial status of Committee members must now be checked before each Committee meeting or VOC (Vote Outside Committee meeting). Unfinancial Committee members, also referred to as a ‘debtor member’, may still attend a Committee meeting and will be counted towards the quorum, but they cannot vote on matters.
- A VOC must now be decided within 21 days of issue or the VOC and motions will expire.
- A Committee member must not receive a benefit from a service contractor without General Meeting approval.
- Insurance renewal is no longer subject to the Committee spending limit.
General Meeting Matters
- Meetings and Ballots (both Open and Secret) can now be held electronically or in a way the Body Corporate decides. This ties in nicely with Ernst Body Corporate Management and Challenge Strata Management‘s introduction of StrataVote, an electronic software voting platform giving owners the flexibility to record their votes at General Meetings electronically and instantaneously.
- An owner can now submit a motion to a First Annual General Meeting.
- The ‘Motion with Alternatives’ provision is now replaced by ‘Grouped Motions’. Votes can now be cast on all the grouped motions together. The motion which receives the most votes in favour will be the end decision of the Body Corporate. If two or more qualifying motions receive the same number of votes in favour, then the qualifying motion with the fewest votes against it will become the Body Corporate’s decision. If there is a tie on the votes for and against two or more qualifying motions, the result is decided by a method of chance (i.e. a coin toss).
- A Body Corporate can now pass a motion to change the quorum for a General Meeting from the 25% minimum voters down to as low as 10% minimum voters.
- A person can no longer harvest Power of Attorneys for a General Meeting. An owner may only use one Power of Attorney in addition to their own vote. The exception is if it is a family member. A person may still hold more than one Power of Attorney if the other lots are family members of him/her.
- Documents that can only be handed to the Secretary, such as voting papers, can now legally be handed to the Community Manager instead of the Secretary if the Community Manager has been appointed to perform secretarial duties.
Full records of the new Regulation Modules, effective 1st March 2021 can be found below: