New South Wales: New strata-property legislation in force 30 November 2016
August 17, 2016
BY Kevin Zakreski
NSW Fair Trading has announced that New South Wales will have new strata-property legislation coming into force on 30 November 2016. The legislation will herald “a new era for strata” in New South Wales.
The new legislation consists of two statutes called the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015.
NSW Fair Trading notes that these acts include the following “key changes”:
- strengthening the accountability of strata managers;
- allowing owners to adopt modern technology to conduct meetings, vote, communicate and administer their scheme;
- the need for owners to review by-laws (strata community rules) within 12 months, which can be customised to suit their lifestyle—such as whether to allow owners to keep a pet by giving notice to the owners corporation;
- a process for the collective sale and renewal of a strata scheme [BCLI has done work on this issue, under the name terminating a strata];
- a simpler, clearer process for dealing with disputes;
- broadening tenant participation in meetings;
- a new option to manage unauthorised parking through a commercial arrangement between a local council and a strata scheme;
- a clearer and simpler three-tier renovations process, which waives approval for cosmetic renovations within the strata lot (for example, installing handrails for safety).
There are also measures to reduce red tape, such as simplifying financial statements for owners.
The two new acts will be paired with two new regulations. Coinciding with the announcement of 30 November 2016 as the in-force date is the release of one of these regulations, the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016. The other regulation, to be called the Strata Schemes Development Regulation 2016, is still under development. NSW Land and Property Information plans to release it later this year.
Fair Trading NSW has a webpage setting out in more detail the major changes to strata laws.