Con­trib­ute views

The Courier-Mail - Property - - INSIGHT - CHAR­LOTTE DURUT

APART­MENT own­ers, par­tic­u­larly those who ap­pre­ci­ate their furry friends or dis­like smoking, are be­ing urged to have their say in a prop­erty law re­view.

Re­leased for com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion in mid-De­cem­ber last year, the state gov­ern­ment’s in­de­pen­dent prop­erty law re­view could give body cor­po­rates the power to tow il­le­gally parked cars, ban smoking on bal­conies and re­strict pet own­er­ship. Prop­erty ex­perts from QUT’s Com­mer­cial and Prop­erty Law Re­search Cen­tre have also put debt re­cov­ery and scheme ter­mi­na­tion un­der the spot­light in the re­view, which is one of three body cor­po­rate-based pa­pers to be re­leased this year.

Strata Com­mu­nity Aus­tralia (Qld) pres­i­dent Si­mon Barnard, who was also the owner of a strata scheme, said pets and park­ing were two of the most con­tro­ver­sial day-to-day is­sues body cor­po­rate mem­bers dealt with.

“Ide­ally, body cor­po­rates should be al­lowed to is­sue in­fringe­ment no­tices (if some­one parks il­le­gally),” he said.

“Or, if they want to be pet friendly or pet free, they should also be able to do that.”

As well as of­fer­ing al­ter­na­tives to con­tro­ver­sial con­cerns un­der the Body Cor­po­rate and Com­mu­nity Man­age­ment Act 1997 (Qld), the law re­view pa­per aims to give body cor­po­rates in­creased and stream­lined self-reg­u­la­tion pow­ers and re­duce trou­ble­some red tape.

Mr Barnard said the re­view could mean body cor­po­rate mem­bers would be given the same rights as home­own­ers.

“This is about giv­ing power back to body cor­po­rate own­ers,” Mr Barnard said.

“Own­ers in body cor­po­rates are still treated dif­fer­ently to those liv­ing in their own houses.

“We want the same rights as home­own­ers.”

Mr Barnard said he be­lieved Queens­land was well be­hind other states and coun­tries when it came to body cor­po­rate by-laws.

“The rest of the world has moved on, but this re­view should bring Queens­land up to the year of 2015,” he said.

Mr Barnard agreed it was ex­tremely im­por­tant to pro­tect in­di­vid­u­als’ rights and the po­ten­tial new by-laws weren’t a rev­enue-rais­ing ex­er­cise.

“I’m not pur­port­ing that we is­sue fines or in­fringe­ment no­tices with­out no­tice,” he said. “There has to be a due process.

“But body cor­po­rates’ self-reg­u­la­tion process and the power to make de­ci­sions have been taken away in re­cent years.

“With over 400,000 body cor­po­rate own­ers liv­ing in Queens­land, this pa­per is crit­i­cal to com­mu­nity liv­ing and al­lows body cor­po­rates and in­di­vid­u­als to voice their views.

“We hope this re­view will be about what own­ers want and that the out­come will be bet­ter com­mu­nity liv­ing.”

Sub­mis­sions on Op­tions Pa­per 1 are due to close on Jan­uary 30.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about the cur­rent law re­view, head on­line to

ABOVE: Builder Allen Mortensen and de­vel­oper Henry Vec­chio cut the hall­way out of the mid­dle of a Queens­lan­der and put the halves back to­gether, to fit it on to a small block. LEFT: After they fin­ished..

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