Hickey Lawyers Makes Extensive Submissions On Body Corporate Law Reform

Owner partner of Hickey Lawyers, Joe Welch, has made extensive submissions in response to the Queensland Government Law Review Options Paper on Body Corporate Governance Issues.

Being a Fellow of the Australian College of Community and Association Lawyers, Joe Welch has had extensive experience in body corporate law, management rights and complex community titles scheme developments.

In addition to providing responses to the specific questions put forward by the Queensland Government Office of Regulatory Policy, Mr Welch addressed some critical areas in need of reform which are:

  • Discrimination against Service Contractors and Letting Agents:  Under the current law, the onsite caretaker and letting agent (Manager) of a community titles scheme is not entitled to vote on the Body Corporate committee.  This is not only inequitable for a Manager with a significant stake in a community titles scheme, but also robs absentee owners of a vote and voice on a body corporate committee.
  • Staged Developments:  In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, many staged developments of community titles schemes stalled where the developer struck financial difficulty.  In some cases, receivers and managers tried to continue with the development and, in some cases, banks were forced to sell off the balance development land in the community titles scheme.  In some cases, the value of these properties was significantly affected by bodies corporate who aggressively tried to seek unjust enrichment from the banks or receivers when it became apparent they required the consent of the body corporate to carry out further development.  This area needs significant reform to give committee members, financiers, developers and on-purchasers of development parcels in community titles schemes, some certainty as to their ability to develop the balance land in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  • Body Corporate Committees:  Many people have been affected by dysfunctional body corporate committees and the often dysfunctional people who populate them.  Reform is needed in this area to allow owners the ability to remove dysfunctional committee members and restrict them from coming back on the committee for a certain period.

The submissions were made in the interests of, not only the development and management rights community, but also to reflect fairness in the legislation.

Hickey Lawyers has extensive experience in advising management rights operators, developers and bodies corporate.  If you have an interest in any of these areas, don’t hesitate to contact Joe Welch.