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..