The COVID-19 Emergency Response Legislation has had amendments introduced to allow for the continued response to COVID-19 in Queensland and the references to the 2020 BCCM Regulations which came into effect on 1 March 2021.
SCA (Qld) notes that one of the amended elements is the extension of the timeframe for freezing interest rates to 1 November 2021. This amendments applies for all owners, despite any decisions from bodies corporate to have penalties for late payments of fees.
These amendments are yet to be formally passed, but SCA (Qld) anticipates that happening very soon.
All other COVID-19 related legislation body corporate managers are aware of, including the regulation which enables meeting procedures to be modified in response to a public health direction are currently considered for extension and will likely be passed next week. SCA (Qld) will keep members informed on the extensions.
The relevant Explanatory Notes justifies these amendments on the basis that “the need for a temporary legislative framework to facilitate Queensland’s successful functioning while uncertainty surrounding potential outbreaks of COVID-19 and the rapid, unpredictable imposition of restrictions remains.”
Part 2 of the Bill outlines the proposed amendments to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (BCCMA).
- Clause 3 amends the note to section 323D(4) (Sinking fund budgets) to update the reference to the Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2008 to the current 2020 Regulation.
- Clause 4 amends the example to section 323F(1)(b) (Penalties for late payment) to replace 1 June 2021 with 1 November 2021.
- Clause 5 amends section 323H(4)(a) (Power to borrow) to update the reference to the Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2008 to the current 2020 Regulation.
Accordingly, section 323F(1) of the BCCMA would now read:
(1) An owner of a lot in a community titles scheme does not incur a penalty—
(a) for the late payment of a contribution or contribution instalment that is payable during the relevant period; or
(b) because another contribution or contribution instalment is otherwise in arrears during the relevant period.
Example for paragraph (b)— An account requiring payment of a contribution instalment given to an owner of a lot 2 months before the commencement is not paid until 1 November 2021. The owner is not liable for a penalty for the contribution instalment being in arrears during the relevant period. However, the owner may be liable for a penalty for the contribution instalment being in arrears before and after the relevant period
Strata Community Association (Qld) thanks Board Directors, Jason Carlson, Chris Irons and James Nickless for their work on preparing this member brief.
This article is first published by SCA QLD on 12 April 2021.