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Tony, Michael and David Partners at ABKJ
ABKJ Lawyers

Justice and Other Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Bill 2020

On 21 May 2020, the Queensland Parliament passed the Justice and Other Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Bill 2020.

It makes a number of legislative amendments in various areas, but in a body corporate context, it makes amendments to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 arising from the COVID-19 situation.

The stated purpose of the amendments is to alleviate the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 emergency on body corporates and lot owners.

It does that by seeking to implement a number of measures, effective until 31 December 2020, including by:

  • Permitting the body corporate to reduce its sinking fund levies for the current financial year by only requiring the body corporate to have regard to its current financial year anticipated sinking fund expenditure. In other words, the body corporate does not need to have regard to anticipated expenditure for future years, as would otherwise be the case.
  • Empowering a committee to extend the due date for contributions to a date that is not later than the end of the financial year, although the committee must consider the body corporate’s ability to meet the necessary and reasonable spending from the body corporate’s administrative fund and sinking fund for the current financial year.
  • Placing any penalty interest on levy arrears on hold during the period between the date the amendments commence and 31 December 2020. If the bill passes into law, this aspect will be mandatory; and
  • Easing borrowing restrictions by increasing the amount a body corporate can borrow without having to obtain a special resolution or resolution without dissent.

Obviously a committee should be considered in how it exercises these powers, assuming the bill is passed. Broadly speaking, the measures only operate to defer spending to preserve short term cash flow. At some point, body corporates and owners availing themselves of these measures will need to catch up.

Do you have any questions?

If your committee or if you as an individual lot owner have any questions in relation to how these proposed amendments will operate, please contact Andrew Kyle at ABKJ Lawyers by email at ak@abkj.com.au or phone our Southport office on 07 5532 3199.

For further help, read our articles on Property Law