Legal Articles

The Queensland Government recently passed the Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response – Document and Oaths) Regulation 2020.  The purpose of the legislation is to address the issue of physically witnessing and signing documents amidst the social distancing restrictions that are currently in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Queensland Government has now enacted the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 (referred to in this update as the “Regulations“), which was expected to legislate for the State of Queensland the National Cabinet’s ‘Mandatory Code of Conduct – SME Commercial Leasing Principles During COVID-19’ (referred to in this update as the “National Cabinet Code“).

With media reporting that the alleged cost of the rectification of the infamous Sydney Mascot Towers could exceed $50 million, it is timely to look at the current law relating to building defects in a body corporate context. Defects in the common property (i.e. in essence, anything other than the inside of individual apartments – for more information, see our recent article regarding how to read your scheme’s survey plan) should be of concern to owners in community titles schemes, particularly in relation to new buildings. Broadly speaking, the body corporate is responsible for maintaining the common property.

I recently became aware of a body corporate that was pursuing bylaw contravention action against an owner. It was alleged that the owner had made unauthorised modifications to common property, and further that the owner had placed decorative items, such as pots and other items, on that common property. The area in question was a ground floor courtyard. The body corporate had assumed that, because the area was outside, it wasn’t part of the lot.

COVID-19 And Residential Tenancies

On 22 April 2020, the Queensland parliament passed the Covid-19 Emergency Response Bill 2020. The Bill gives the ability to the various Ministers to recommend that regulations be made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 24 April 2020, the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (Covid-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 came into effect.

A week and a half ago, in response to the coronavirus crisis which is gripping our economy and society more generally, the Prime Minister announced that the National Cabinet had agreed to a “moratorium on rental evictions”. The Queensland Government has not yet enacted the legislation to make that announcement legally effective at this stage, but we understand that legislation will be introduced shortly. The moratorium It effectively means that a landlord will not be legally able to terminate a lease and evict a tenant due to unpaid rent, for a period of 6 months. As to when that 6-month… Continue Reading

You and your ex are on good terms and you have agreed as to who will keep the boat and who will keep the house.  There are two ways to sever your financial relationship with your former partner when your marriage or de facto partnership comes to an end and that is by way of a Binding Financial Agreement or Orders of the Court.  Orders of the Court can be obtained one of two ways – either after a contested trial or by consent.  Here are a few things you should consider before you sign on the dotted line for… Continue Reading

Home Finance

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) is designed to help low to middle-income earners enter the property market. Previously, most banks required a minimum deposit of 20% of the property’s value. However, with the Government’s new deposit scheme, first time home buyers are allowed to pay a deposit of as little as 5%. This will help them buy a home sooner. Initially, 10,000 Scheme places were released on 1 January 2020, and a further 10,000 will be available from 1 July 2020. The ability to secure a scheme place will be subject to eligibility criteria and availability. How do… Continue Reading

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