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01 March 2021

New body corporate laws commencing on 1 March 2021

From today, 1 March 2021 new regulation modules will commence that affect the way your body corporate is governed.

There are a number of intricate changes and as your body corporate managers, we are communicating with you some of the more important changes that may affect how your body corporate operates.

Electronic voting
Electronic voting can now be used for:
1. committee elections (including those by secret ballot); and
2. general meeting motions (including those by secret ballot).
For these changes to take effect, the body corporate must pass an ordinary resolution.

Lot owner committee motions
Lot owners now have a statutory right to submit motions for the committee to consider up to a maximum of 6 motions in a 12 month period.
The committee must make a decision on the motion within 6 weeks (or an extended 6 week period if there is reason for the extension) otherwise it is deemed to have been voted against by the committee.

Committee meeting voting
Committee members are now ineligible to vote if they, or their nominating entity, owe a body corporate debt.

Committee member benefits
Committee members cannot receive benefits from service contractors unless the:
1. benefit is a permitted benefit (which includes the services the service contractor has been engaged for by the body corporate or a committee member at market price); or
2. body corporate has approved the benefit by ordinary resolution.

First annual general meeting owner motions
Lot owners now have the right to submit motions to be included in the first annual general meeting if the motion has been submitted with sufficient time for it to be practicable for inclusion.

Motions with alternatives and same issue motions
There are no longer motions with alternatives for general meetings.
A better way of dealing with these issues is now called “same issue motions” whereby:
1. motions dealing with the same issue are firstly identified and grouped together in the agenda – irrespective of the resolution type;
2. the motions are all voted on separately;
3. those that have not passed on their own resolution type are then excluded; and
4. of the remaining motions, the motion with the most votes in favour is then the motion decided upon by the body corporate. If there is a tie, it is the motion with the least amount of no votes. If it is still a tie, you flip a coin or draw straws.

The body corporate can now reduce the required quorum for a general meeting to:
1. 10% of voters (as opposed to the default 25%); and
2. 1 personally present (as opposed to the default of 2),
For these changes to take effect, the body corporate must pass a special resolution.

Second annual general meeting defect assessments
The body corporate is required, at its second annual general meeting (and after each stage of development for schemes subject to staged development) to consider a motion to authorise a defect assessment being undertaken.

Information to be provided to the body corporate
Owners were obliged to give certain information to the body corporate within 2 months (for example, the sale of a lot or a long term lease being entered into). This period has now been shortened to 1 month.

Other changes
There are a number of other changes that apply, but we have sought to summarise the more important ones that may affect your scheme.

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