On 1 March 2021, the new Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation comes into force. The new regulation clarifies and adds provisions to the existing regulation to provide for more flexible and contemporary arrangements within body corporates.
The changes are identical to the changes in the Accommodation Module and Small Schemes Module. There is one change which does not apply to the Commercial Module, and this will be identified.
The section numbers mentioned are specific to the Standard Module and may be slightly different in the other modules.
Disclosure of monetary benefits
The new regulation further explains what disclosures have to be made in relation to a commission, payment or other benefit that the body corporate may derive from a contract.
The disclosure must include the commission, payment or other benefit, and, if the benefit is monetary, the amount of money being received. This provision exists in the old regulation, however it does not include what must go into the disclosure. Disclosure made under the old regulation does not have to be repeated when the new regulation comes into effect.
Taking out/renewing insurance
Section 172 of the new regulation allows the committee to take out or renew an insurance policy without having to have a general meeting, so long as at a previous general meeting, it was decided by ordinary resolution the body corporate committee is allowed to do so. In the existing regulation, the insurance policy had to go to a general meeting.
This provision does not apply to the Commercial Module.
Insurance Policy Disclosure
The new regulation adds to the required disclosure information about the insurance policy at the annual general meeting.
In addition to the requirements currently set out in section 177 (section 196 in the new regulation), the details of any insurance broker or intermediary involved with the taking out of the insurance policy.
Additionally, any benefits given by the insurance broker or intermediary to the body corporate or its members must also be disclosed.
The new regulation adds to the list of utility infrastructure that an owner might be responsible for even if it is on common property.
Presently, hot-water systems, washing machines and clothes dryers are expressly mentioned. Section 180 adds solar panels, air-conditioning systems and television antennae to this list.
This list is not exhaustive and other utilities supplied only to one lot can be the responsibility of the owner even if not mentioned.
Defect Assessment Report
The new regulation adds section 181 which obliges the body corporate to include a defect assessment motion on the agenda of the second annual general meeting. The purpose of this is to encourage early discovery of building defects.
Email address for service
The new regulation allows for owners to provide an email address to be the address for service, meaning that any documents and notices can be provided by email rather than by post.
Receiving documents or information
Under the new regulation, in addition to being able to be given information by email, the body corporate and the owner of a lot agree on a different method of service or giving information that is not specifically listed in the regulation.
An example of this could be the use of Dropbox to share files.
Recording information on the roll
The new regulation changes the notice time frame for dealings relating to a lot from two months to one month. The information must be recorded on the roll within fourteen days of receiving the information.
The existing module does not expressly provide for body corporate managers to receive documents on behalf of the secretary, although many schemes already do this. The new regulation specifically gives the body corporate manager this power if authorised by the body corporate.
Further details and all of the relevant provisions relating to these changes can be found at https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/asmade/sl-2020-0233.
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