Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018

In mid-2018, after several months of consultation and formulation, the Government moved forward on the issue of flammable cladding, with the Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018, which amended the Building Regulation 2006 and State Penalties Enforcement Regulation 2014, and commenced on 1 October 2018.

The implications of these new regulations were wide-ranging and it was clear that there would be a significant impact on bodies corporate.

In short: All bodies corporate of buildings built or refurbished after 1 January 1994 have to do the online assessment for Aluminium Composite Panelling (ACP) by 29 March 2019, and return the relevant form to QBCC.

If the owner suspects or has identified that the building may be affected by ACP, they must engage a building industry professional to prepare a statement by 29 May 2019 whether there is ACP on the building.

In stage 3 of the process, the owner has until 27 August 2019 to engage a fire engineer to assess the cladding and by 3 May 2021 this stage (with a report/statement) must be completed.

Tropical Strata Services has engaged Solutions in Engineering to undertake an inspection and complete the online assessment on behalf of their bodies corporate built or renovated after 1 January 1994, are a Class 2 - Class 9 A or B and/or are above two storeys.  For your information, Class 1 includes one or more building, which in association constitute— (a) Class 1a – a single dwelling being — (i) a detached house; or (ii) one of a group of two or more attached dwellings, each being a building, separated by a fire-resisting wall, including a row house, terrace house, town house or villa unit.

Strata Legislation Reform :  2018-2019

The Option Paper currently in front of the Department of Fair Trading focuses on the important issue of by-law enforcement and the ability for a scheme to prohibit certain conduct. There are currently more than 450,000 lot owners in Queensland that the Strata Community Association Queensland ("SCA") is representing to the Department of Justice pushing for changes in by-laws, scheme termination and modernisation of body corporate procedures.

In regard to pets, the Paper proposes a scheme can be pet free from it's inception or for existing buildings by way of a resolution without dissent (meaning no one can vote against the motion for it not to carry).  If a no pet by-law is adopted in an existing building, there is no retrospective application, meaning pets will be allowed to stay until the end of their approval (eg. moving).

The same principle applies to smoking.  The proposed amendments also include a change to the power of the Body Corporate to regulate activity for outdoor areas that are part of a lot or common property where the smoke drift could affect lot owners.

Un-authorised parking has been contentious in many schemes and there is no functioning process in place to be able to tow cars.  This is about to change with the Body Corporate's ability to tow without the untimely order needed from the Commissioner's office, provided they follow a process of statutory notices and reasonable time frames.  The onus of proof that the vehicle has been towed in accordance with the proper procedure is with the Body Corporate.

The most interesting amendment is one that SCA has suggested is that in the future it may be possible to issue fines for breaches of by-laws if owners of a scheme have approved fines for the breach of a particular by-law. 

All of these proposed amendments will, if implemented take time to be enforceable and functioning.  There will be work to do having appropriate signage in place and amending by-laws for bodies corporate. However, it's a step in the right direction as it gives back powers to the Body Corporate to put measures in place for more harmonic community living.