Forced sales by vote proposed in Queensland property law review

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Proposed changes to Queensland’s law governing apartment blocks and community developments seek to allow the forced sale of a unit owner’s dwelling should 75% of the neighbours in their block agree.

Even if the ‘forced sale’ vote threshold is not reached, individual owners and body corporates will be able to appeal to a District Court to push their plans through under the proposed changes, Domain reported.

The proposals come from a review by the Commercial and Property Law Research Centre of the Queensland University of Technology, as commissioned by the Queensland Government.

The review includes an examination of issues arising under legislation governing ownership, use and dealings in real property in Queensland, including the Property Law Act 1974, the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 and other community-titles legislation, the government said.

The proposals follow concerns that deteriorating unit blocks have to be maintained, often at great expense, but occupy prime land where larger, better and safer apartment blocks could be built, Domain reported. Current law provides for a forced sale, but only if 100% of owners agree.

Even if the proposals push through, a forced sale would have to follow several steps. Domain said information would have to be collected, and a strata “termination plan” formulated. After two cooling-off periods, owners vote whether or not to move forward. The losing side could appeal the decision in the District Court.

The government has invited Queenslanders to provide feedback on the proposals, as well as their views on the costs and benefits of the recommendations. Consultation closes on 5 May.


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