Late last week the Government introduced new temporary measures to assist the community titles sector to navigate the complexities of holding meetings, and of managing access to common property and body corporate records in compliance with public health directives. Last week’s changes to body corporate regulations mean that:
From 19 March to 31 December 2020, amendments to meeting procedures are permitted to restrict physical attendance, and to allow for remote attendance and electronic voting, to the extent reasonably necessary to comply with public health directives – while the temporary measures are technically only coming into effect now, the changes to the regulations retrospectively validate and authorise adjustments to meeting procedures which may have been adopted by a body corporate from 19 March 2020 to respond to the impacts of COVID-19.
From 2 October 2020 to 31 December 2020:
- body corporate committees may restrict access to common property in response to public health directives.
- a body corporate may comply with a request from an interested person to inspect body corporate records by providing electronic access to, or copies of, documents if relevant fees are paid.
- the Commissioner may also provide copies of dispute resolution applications and submissions to interested persons instead of allowing inspection, provided usual copy fees are paid.
- the Commissioner may waive payment of fees for inspection or copies of documents if satisfied payment would cause financial hardship.
These changes supplement earlier reforms that were commenced on 25 May 2020 to help community titles schemes deal with financial issues arising from COVID-19. Further information about the May reforms to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 , is also available on our COVID-19 in bodies corporate webpage or our May edition of Common Ground.
Bodies corporate and their committees will maintain their ongoing obligations to act “reasonably”, including when making decisions under these new measures. Open, timely and constructive communication around these issues will continue to be an important ingredient for harmonious community living in the COVID-19 environment and into the future. For further information contact my Information and Community Education Unit on (freecall) 1800 060 119.
Author: Michelle Scott, Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management
Information Service Freecall 1800 060 119