The Building Units and Group Titles and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2022 was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 8 November 2022 and takes affect from today.
In this video, OMB Solicitors‘ Senior Associate Elisha Quigg explains the key changes and also how these changes have caused provisions of Building Units and Group Titles Act (“BUGTA”) to be more closely aligned with those in the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (QLD).
If you would like to know more information and would like to request a copy of our BUGTA Fact Sheet, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Gold Coast Lawyers team on (07) 5555 0000 or [email protected]
Hello, it’s Elisha here from OMB Solicitors. Today I’m going to talk to you about new legislation in Strata. So, as we know, the Building Units and Group Titles Act is very old, and I’m pleased to announce that new legislation has passed.
However, it’s yet to receive its royal assent, but we’re expecting that in the next couple of days. This legislation will come into effect on, we think around the first of December, but there’ll be a circular issued by our firm, which will give you all of those key dates once it does come into effect.
Today I’m going to talk to you about some of those changes. So as we know, the Building Units and Group Titles Act was the primary legislation for all Strata schemes from a very early stage until the Body Corporate and Community Management Act came into effect in 1997.
Whilst many schemes operate under the BCCMA, which is our normal Body Corporate and Community Management Act, there are still a handful of schemes that are operating under BUGTA. So, It is important that we’re aware of what these changes are and how they may affect the proprietors in those schemes. Let’s run through some of those changes.
As we know, the Body Corporate and Community Management Commissioner’s office provides a very helpful educational and information opportunity for lot owners and residents who are within schemes under the BCCMA. Well now with the new legislation passed, proprietors registered under a BUGTA scheme will also receive those same benefits.
Importantly, will now have access to the Body Corporate and Community Management Commissioner’s office for resolving some of the disputes, which really streamlines the process and makes it far easier for complaints to be dealt with.
As part of this, the adjudicators will also be able to determine disputes on a much simpler and more effective dispute resolution mechanism compared to what BUGTA dispute resolution provisions provided, and that is that referees, otherwise known as adjudicators, do not have to follow the rules of evidence, and they must process claims efficiently and in the interest of all relevant parties.
Another interesting change to the legislation, which really brings it more aligned to the BCCMA, is in relation to committee voting. So as we know, under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act, you can’t hold a committee position unless you are financial to vote.
Similarly, with BUGTA, they’ve now introduced the legislation which says that if you are unfinancial, you cannot vote and you also cannot be nominated on a committee. Committee members are also required to disclose conflicts of interest.
Now, the legislation that has changed for BUGTA is very similar to the BCCMA. However, it does impose some stricter requirements on disclosing conflicts of interest.
It’s really important that you read the specific section in relation to conflicts of interest, so that you are informed as a committee member as to when it is or isn’t inappropriate to vote on a matter, and finally, another change to the BUGTA legislation is in relation to levy recovery.
So as we know in the Body Corporate and Community Management Act, there are current provisions in there which require a scheme to commence levy recovery within two years and two months of a levy being outstanding.
Now that change has also been implemented in BUGTA, and now whilst that isn’t a limitation period, so to speak, it is a positive obligation on a body corporate or a scheme registered under BUGTA to initiate that levy recovery procedure to ensure that the scheme can be financially sustainable and to ensure that debts do not get out of hand.
So if you do want to find out more information about the legislative changes to BUGTA, then please don’t hesitate to contact OMB solicitors. We will be producing a circular, which has all of the key changes explained.
We’re happy to circulate that to you if you do need some further assistance. But as always, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to help. Thanks.