Queensland strata law review recommendations due later this year

Zoe FieldingMarch 17, 20150 min read

Unit owners in Queensland will have to wait until the second half of 2015 to learn the recommendations of a contentious review into strata by-laws, debt recovery and scheme termination.

Before the Queensland state election in January, unit owners vented their frustration that the timing of the review – which closed for consultation on 30 January, the day before the election – meant its contents could not be made into an election issue.

The options paper called for comments on by-laws such as parking, pets in apartments, smoking on balconies and overcrowding, as well as how bodies corporate should be allowed to recover debt and terminate their schemes.

The Unit Owners Association of Queensland criticised the review for failing to consider 25-year management rights contracts awarded by developers.

Strata Community Australia president Simon Barnard warned against any knee-jerk reactions to proposals put forward in the options paper to ban unit owners from smoking on their balconies.

Over 300 submissions were received in response to the paper, a spokesperson for the Queensland Office of Fair Trading told Property Observer.

Queensland University of Technology’s Commercial and Property Law Research Centre, which was engaged by the Newman government in 2013 to conduct the review, is now considering the submissions.

It will release a report based on its analysis in the second half of 2015. The submissions will also be made public at that time, provided the submitter has not specifically requested confidentiality, the spokesperson said.

The review aims to cut red tape, regulation and property law duplication to help streamline the way Queenslanders buy, sell and manage property.

Two additional consultation papers into Queensland’s body corporate laws are under development and due for release later in the year.

The second paper will examine administrative and procedural issues including general meetings, the body corporate committee, and dispute resolution.

A third paper will consider the possibility of bringing community title schemes, which are now regulated separately from strata schemes, under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997.

The body corporate review is part of a larger examination of Queensland’s property laws that QUT is conducting. In early 2014, the broader review investigated seller disclosures in Queensland and setting and adjusting lot entitlements for community title schemes. 

Zoe Fielding

I am a freelance journalist and editor with more than 15 years experience specialising in personal finance, property, financial services and financial technology. A skilled writer and researcher, I have extensive experience producing high quality content for corporate and media clients. I am used to working to tight deadlines and tailoring the pieces I produce to suit a variety of audiences and formats.
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