Queensland Government’s third COVID related legislation is currently set for Queensland’s Justice and Other Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Bill to pass later this week. The Bill is significant because it looks to implement measures to help Queenslanders suffering from financial and operational stress caused by COVID-19.
Passing this legislation will allow the Body Corporate and Community Management Act to have a temporary additional chapter until 31 December 2020. The temporary chapter and changes include:
- Levies not having to be determined or based on meeting requirements for the next 9 years. This may assist a body corporate by allowing them not to charge a special levy and by temporarily holding the current levy charge.
- Relaxing the period required to initiate debt recovery for lot owner contributions, allowing body corporates to defer debt recovery processes against owners experiencing financial distress due to COVID-19.
- Allowing committees to postpone contribution due dates to provide owners with additional time to pay.
- Preventing body corporates from charging penalty interest on outstanding owner contributions.
- Increasing the maximum amount a body corporate can borrow when authorised by an ordinary resolution. For most schemes, the body corporate can borrow up to $500 multiplied by the number of lots and doubling the upper limit for borrowing under the Body Corporate and Community Management (Small Schemes Module) Regulation 2008 to $6,000.
The body corporate industry association, Strata Community Association, has also been advised that other body corporate requirements impacted by COVID-19, such as allowing electronic meetings, is being looked at in a separate set of regulations under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill. It is anticipated this Bill will be given to the Governor Council within the following month.
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