Amendments to the BCCM Regulation Modules announced for March 2021

Amendments to the BCCM Regulation Modules announced for March 2021

After seven years of consultation and a property law review, the Queensland Government has finally announced the 2020 amendments to the Body Corporate and Community Management (BCCM) Regulation Modules. A move which is set to modernise body corporate regulations across the state and enhance owner protections.

The new BCCM regulation amendments, which come into effect as of 1 March 2021, specifically aim to reduce body corporate costs and legislate a range of common modern practices — such as online voting. The amendments seek to fix a range of loopholes that were identified over many years due to community living modernising and superseding the limitations of the original legislation.

To help committee members understand Queensland’s new regulations, the BCCM changes have been broken into 11 key points. While the high-level list is informative, it’s not a complete synopsis of all changes, and shouldn’t replace conversations with body corporate managers.

Based on industry information provided, this is how the changes may affect your property from March 2021:
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Voting.

Electronic voting will be allowed for all motion-types. This includes secret ballots, however, the software that’s used will have to meet the conditions of the legislation. And body corporates will have to agree, with an owner, to send or receive information via email.

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If an owner has a body corporate debt owing, they will no longer be eligible to vote on a committee motion or within a committee meeting. This will apply to owners, proxies, or representative of an owner with body corporate debt.

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The voting and management of same issue motions will be changed. A “motion with alternatives”, will be replaced.
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.A power of attorney may only vote on behalf of one other person. Unless the power of attorney is an owner’s family member or the power of attorney falls under a specific category as defined in section 211 and 219 of the BCCM Act.

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Meeting quorum

Body corporates will be given the opportunity to reduce quorums. Body corporates will be able to have 10% of voters to form a quorum rather than 25%.

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Meeting motions

Owners will be able to submit up to six motions to a committee meeting within a 12-month period and the committee will have to respond within a set time frame. The committee will have to make a decision on each motion within six weeks, and they may be able to apply for an additional six-week extension.

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A motion will be put in to determine whether a building is assessed for defects. The new motion will be voted upon at a building’s second annual general meeting.

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Financial gains 

The arrangements or circumstances where a committee member can gain a benefit from a service contractor will be reduced and become more regulated. For a committee member to receive a benefit, the receipt of the process will have to be approved by ordinary resolution.

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Body corporate and caretaking services will have to disclose any financial gains or commission generated by a body corporate signing a service contract. Before a body corporate enters into an agreement or service contract, a body corporate manager or any caretaking service contractor must disclose the financial gain or commission earnt from having the contract signed. This must be disclosed before the body corporate signs the contract or receives goods from the arrangement.

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The role of a body corporate manager

Clarity around the strata manager acting as the committee’s secretary will be ushered in. The amendments will clarify that a body corporate manager, under section 119(2) of the BCCM Act, will be able to exercise some or all of the powers given to the secretary of a committee.

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If you’re interested to find out more of the 2020 amendments to BCCM, please talk to your body corporate manager. Alternatively, you can also access the SCA (Qld)’s full regulation fact sheet here. Or, the SCA (Old)’s standard module fact sheet here.

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Coming up 

As the new regulations aren’t expected until March 2021, BCS and PICA Group will continue to provide guidance and education around the new regulations via regular communication and information sessions. Look out for our updates via social media and our legislation webpage!

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