Are you across all the latest laws affecting body corporates?
Like all states in Australia, Queensland's strata title, community title and body corporate regulations are complicated and, if you're on the body corporate committee or simply an owner in a strata property, it can be tricky to be across them all - especially when it comes to insurance. And that's where Flex Insurance can help.
We're experts in strata insurance for properties in Brisbane and regional Queensland, because strata insurance is what we do. So, we can make sure your body corporate is covered for everything it needs, including tailored additional cover that meets your needs.
But first, let's look at some of the key strata laws in Queensland that the executive committee of every body corporate (also known as a community title scheme) should know.
Timeline - regulations for the Qld BCCM Act 1997
The regulations for Queensland's Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 were proposed in 2020, and came into force in March 2021. While the Act deals with general policies and powers and must be voted by parliament, the regulations go into a lot more detail and can be changed by the Minister.
Basic rules and responsibilities all body corporate committees should know
If you're a member of a body corporate committee, then you should be aware you have a number of obligations under the state's body corporate laws and regulations.
Each state is different, but in Qld, the main piece of legislation is the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 which is often shortened to the Body Corporate Act or BCCM Act.
In 2021, a lot of new regulations under the BCCM Act came into effect, to update and provide more detail around rights and obligations of body corporates and their committees.
Four ways the regulations of the BCCM Act can affect body corporates and lot owners
The regulations saw major changes to the way body corporates and community title schemes in Queensland are managed, the responsibilities they have, and the rights they can enjoy. Four key features include:
- Allowing committees to exceed their maximum spending limit when opening or renewing a strata insurance policy, as long as two quotes are received, such as one provided by Flex Insurance.
- If a body corporate is entering into a contract for products or services, then building managers or caretakers must disclose if they're getting any commissions, fees or other benefits, and to what value.
- Allowing notices and information to be sent by email, and for body corporate members to allow electronic voting.
- Each AGM must allow a vote on whether or not to get a defect assessment report prepared.
Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997
In addition to the above features, the Act and its regulations aim to provide greater clarity around community title scheme management, and the roles of the body corporate committee.
This includes who is responsible for what in a strata property, the things that body corporates are legally required to do (such as taking out strata insurance), how meetings are held and decisions are made, and how disputes should be resolved.
The Act and its regulations cover a wide range of topics, such as:
- Setting up an owners corporation and management (strata) committee
- The constitution of the corporation
- Compulsory building and public liability insurance
- Strata meetings and AGMs
- Functions, obligations and responsibilities of the owners corporation
- The body corporate committee
- Appointing external body corporate managers and letting agents
- Financial management and responsibility
- Property and asset management
- Functions and responsibilities of building managers
- Making and enforcing by-laws
- Responsibility for building repairs and defects
- Disputes and how to resolve them
Still not quite clear?
The way laws are written can often be really dry and confusing, but if you have an external Body Corporate manager, they should be able to advise you further, as they are experts in Queensland strata laws and regulations. If you don't have an external Body Corporate manager, getting advice from a solicitor specialising in property law may be a wise investment.
A wise first step...
Taking out the right strata insurance is an important and valuable first step to take.
That's why it makes sense to chat to an expert at Flex Insurance, because we are strata and body corporate insurance specialists. It's our key focus, so we make sure you'll have the right strata cover, for the right price, and flexibility to add extra cover if you need.
References - original legislation: Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997