As some of you may have heard, a raft of new body corporate laws will commence 1 March 2021. Whilst most of the changes are administrative in nature, and will not directly impact you as a resident manager, it would be useful to know about some of the changes in case they come up in body corporate discussions. Some changes will depend on the regulation module the scheme is regulated by. If you are unsure which changes apply, please contact us. To help you get across the new laws we have summarised the key changes below:
Electronic voting can now be used for:
- committee elections (including those by secret ballot); and
- general meeting motions (including those by secret ballot).
Co-owners who own multiple lots are now eligible to nominate for multiple committee positions. For example if Mr and Mrs Smith own two lots together, they can both nominate and fill two committee positions.
For complexes with more than 3 lots but no more than 3 owners, the owners can decide amongst themselves which committee positions they will hold. If agreement cannot be reached, the owners will jointly hold the executive positions.
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 consider such a motion within 6 weeks (unless extended for good reason).
Committee meeting attendance can now be electronically.
Lot owner representatives are now entitled to attend committee meetings if they provide 24 hours’ notice to the secretary.
Committee members are now ineligible to vote if they, or their nominating entity, owe a body corporate debt.
Committee members cannot receive benefits from service contractors unless:
- the 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
- the body corporate has approved the benefit by ordinary resolution.
There are no longer motions with alternatives for general meetings. These are now called “same issue motions” whereby:
- motions dealing with the same issue are firstly identified and grouped together in the agenda– irrespective of the resolution type;
- the motions are all voted on separately;
- those that have not passed on their own resolution type are then excluded; and
- 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, you flip a coin or draw straws.
The developer has additional obligations to hand over further material at the first annual general meeting.
If the body corporate passes a special resolution to do so, the body corporate can now reduce the required quorum for a general meeting to:
- 10% of voters (as opposed to the default 25%); and
- 1 personally present (as opposed to the default of 2),
The use of a power of attorney at general meeting has been restricted so that the same attorney cannot be appointed for different owners (other than family members).
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.
When the body corporate is obliged to give certain information to a person, if agreed to with that person, the body corporate can provide that information in a particular way (for example, sending a link to a file shared document).
Owners are obliged to give certain information to the body corporate within 1 month (for example, the sale of a lot or a long term lease being entered into).
The body corporate must now update the body corporate roll within 14 days of receiving relevant information.
The body corporate manager can be provided with documents on behalf of the secretary.
The commission disclosure requirements for body corporate contractors now specifically require disclosure of the monetary amount.