Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Urban Development Responds to Body Corporate recommendations

Urban Development Responds to Body Corporate recommendations

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (QLD) recently made a submission on a recommendations paper that resulted from a review into Queensland’s property laws. QUT’s Commercial and Property Law Research Centre conducted the review on behalf of the State Government.

The institute made the following observations and recommendations after reviewing the paper and receiving member feedback:

  • They strongly support changes to enable redevelopment of schemes that are aged, out of date, or restricting more efficient use of land and services
  • To enhance the recommended termination process and reduce potential confusion and delay in achieving the economic reason for termination, they recommend:
    • Where the property is over 30 years old (or if the property is within 10 years of the expected lifecycle end date of buildings in an original sinking fund/lifecycle forecast of the community management statement) the scheme should automatically be considered as having an economic reason for termination
    • Guidance should be provided on the definition and documents required for the economic reason decision
    • Some further clarity should be provided around each step in terms of who can instigate body corporate meetings to approve the various steps. This includes gathering of relevant information, consideration of economic grounds, authorisation to prepare a termination plan, and approval of the termination plan.
  • They also encourage the development of further arrangements for variation and redevelopment of existing schemes.

The Institute’s main concerns Include:

  • Changes such as bans on pets and smoking would inflict onerous restrictions on ordinary citizens in body corporate schemes compared to the freedoms enjoyed by freehold land home owners
  • Changes such as:
    • Requiring copies of by-laws are provided to all new tenants
    • Body corporate control of overcrowding (already addressed by state and local agencies)
    • Potential additional by-laws would further complicate body corporate responsibilities, add cost, and reduce home affordability for lot owners and occupiers
  • The potential for excess action and intervention by body corporates that could result in substantial distress and confusion to occupiers. Particularly in the situation where fines can be incurred by tenants but fall to the owner.

The statement can be found on their website

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