A month of high profile advocacy

by Simon Barnard, SCA (Qld) President

Giving us a true end of year rush we’ve seen the Lot Entitlements Recommendations, three Property Law Review Issues Papers, amendments to the Home Warranty Scheme (read about our lobbying success here) and the Seller Disclosure Consultation all out within one intense month.

And this week, I am also meeting with the Attorney-General The Hon Yvette D'Ath to discuss the law review and where to from here given it has been nine months since her address to our members. It is critical for us to not take the foot off the pedal and continue the subtle pressure on continuing the much needed reforms. While there have been three papers released:

  • Issues Paper 3: Property Law Act 1974 (Qld) - Incorporeal Hereditaments, Rights of Way, Powers of Appointment & Perpetuities 
  • Issues Paper 4: Property Law Act 1974 (Qld) - Mortgages, Coownership, Encroachment and Mistake 
  • Issues Paper 5: Property Law Act 1974 (Qld) - Part 12 – Equitable interests and things in action: Part 15 – Corporations: Part 16 – Voidable dispositions: Part 18 – Unregistered land: Part 19 – De facto relationships: Part 20 – Miscellaneous

which by all means affect the strata sector but are not comparable to the far reaching changes we need. 

While we are awaiting the further progress on last year's Issues Papers, we have been invited to speak to the Property Law Review Panel at QUT to discuss the Seller Disclosure Report findings, SCA (Qld) made a submission to a few months ago (see our Seller Disclosure submission here) our Legislation Committee is preparing the above submissions as well as yet again dealing with the lot entitlements recommendations recently published by the QUT Panel for the Property Law Review presented. 

At SCA (Qld) we acknowledge that QUT’s recommendations recognise change in the strata sector and that a fair, equitable principle is being sought to eliminate the current tensions surrounding lot entitlements. Historically, lot entitlements were set unfairly and SCA (Qld) supports a system that will contribute to greater equality. The current system of calculating lot entitlements may not achieve fairness, however, there is a view in the sector that it has stabilised the issue, introducing some certainty and SCA (Qld) therefore will propose as little change as possible. 

Our Legislation Committee is drafting the submission at the present time and there is a strong view that the damage that is caused by changing the model again will outweigh the benefits the model may provide. As we have experienced often in teh body corporate world, the more determination options are given to the schemes, the more likely there will be disputes.

The proposed model would implement a change across the whole sector, affecting every one of the 442,000 lot owners and generally speaking SCA (Qld) does not support such a substantial impact on the sector. It appears however that the recommendations do not provide for another model to be supported (as SCA (Qld) has submitted in the past), therefore we will comment on the model and suggest alterations that minimise the impact on the sector and ensure the solution is practical and workable.

 

Read more about the Lot Entitlements Final Recommendations in our short summary here.

Posted 14/11/16