You can view the original letter here

Mr Wayne Stevens
President
Unit Owners Association of Queensland

wstevens33@optusnet.com.au

Dear Mr Stevens

Thank you for your email dated 8 July 2014 enclosing two letters regarding developers applying the Body Corporate and Community Management (Accommodation Module) Regulation 2008 (the Accommodation Module) to new community titles schemes.

I note your view that the Accommodation Module should not be available to community titles schemes that have been described as ‘residential’ by the developer, on the basis that the term ‘residential’ excludes the use of lots for short-term accommodation purposes.

However, the body corporate legislation specifically contemplates a lot being used for ‘short term residential purposes’. For example, the definition of ‘accommodation lot’ for the purposes of the Accommodation Module includes lots that are (or intended to be) available to be the subject of a lease or letting for accommodation ‘for long or short term residential purposes’. Therefore, the description of lots as ‘residential’ does not prevent the Accommodation Module applying to a community titles scheme provided the scheme otherwise meets the prescribed eligibility criteria.

Of course, that is not to suggest that a developer or selling agent can mislead or deceive a prospective purchaser about the nature or characteristics of a proposed community titles scheme.

As you may know, the Australian Consumer Law provides generic consumer protections, including prohibitions on people engaging in false or misleading conduct in trade or commerce. If a person has evidence of a business engaging in false or misleading conduct, they are able to make a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading. You are able to access more information about the Australian Consumer Law at www.consumerlaw.gov.au. For information about making a complaint, you can visit www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or telephone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

I am aware that you have ongoing concerns about whether the use of lots for short term accommodation purposes in a number of community titles schemes is consistent with development and planning approvals, including building classifications.

As I have explained previously, while the BCCM Act provides for the establishment and administration of community titles schemes, and includes a range of provisions about the internal governance of bodies corporate, it does not override development and planning laws regulating the lawful use of a particular lot or lots in a community titles scheme. If a person has concerns about whether the use of a particular lot is consistent with planning and development approvals, the person should contact the relevant local authority.

As you have requested, I have provided a copy of your correspondence to my colleague, the Honourable David Crisafulli MP, Minister for Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience for his consideration of your concerns as relevant to his portfolio responsibilities.

Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention.

Yours sincerely

JARROD BLEIJIE MP

cc The Honourable David Crisafulli MP
Minister for Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience
PO Box 15031
CITY EAST QLD 4002

Copy of Mr Steven’s correspondence is included for your consideration.

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