QLD update: safely moving back to normal

With Queensland entering stage three of our state’s COVID-19 roadmap (the final step-down phase), we can now enjoy a greater sense of normalcy.

Committees and owners have a legal duty of care to maintain the common property and are responsible for the health and safety of those who come and go, including during COVID-19. Knowing what to do for multi-owed properties during a pandemic can be daunting. So, to assist, we have collated some of the actions committee members and owners could consider.

As a group, our focus has been and will continue to be providing committee members and owners with the support and resources to follow government recommendations and best practice safety procedures.

Committees members and owners could consider the following:

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1. Staying up to date

As the restrictions are staged and geographically relevant, requirements for committee members and owners are subject to change with the spread or control of COVID-19. Committee members and owners will need to remain up to date and responsive to health warnings and restrictions moving forward.

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2. Knowing the COVID-19 legislative changes and how they impact body corporates

Queensland has introduced a range of temporary legislation to give multi-owed properties flexibility and financial support during COVID-19. Committees and owners should understand and allow for the changes that impact them.

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Changes to body corporate legislation include:    

  • Electronic voting
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  • Affixing seals and signing documents electronically
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  • How to reimburse money used from other funds
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  • When and how much interest can be applied to late levies
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  • When debt collection proceedings can be initiated for late levies.

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For more information on Queensland’s legislative changes, view our article here

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3. Operating under a COVID-safe framework   

Committee members and owners will continue to have a legal responsibility to make sure the property is maintained appropriately and have a duty of care to all who come and go — particularly contractors and workers. Now, however, body corporates must also operate under a COVID-19 framework.

A COVID-19 framework means body corporates, as an entity that owns, controls, or operates a restricted business activity or undertaking, must adhere to ongoing COVID-19 safety practices and plans that align with communal and common property facilities.

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Some of the regulations for committees and owners include:

  • Following social distancing across all common areas
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  • Notifying visitors and residents of distancing regulations and room capacities
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  • Opening facilities that no longer have restrictions
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  • Keeping information of any visitor or worker who uses a common property facility for 56 days
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  • Implementing a COVID Safe Plans for some properties with pools, gyms, and accommodation arrangements
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  • Making sure meetings still go ahead and that alternatives to face-to-face meetings are offered.

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If you’d like to find out more on managing health & safety for our property, find out more about our Community Health & Safety services by clicking here. Our team is ready to assist you 24/7.