Western Australia passes reforms to its strata-property legislation
November 1, 2018
BY Kevin Zakreski
The Strata Titles Amendment Bill 2018 (PDF) is the culmination of a lengthy reform process spearheaded by Landgate (Western Australia’s land-title authority). The bill’s explanatory memorandum (PDF) spells out the range of this legislation, which addresses an array of legal issues including:
- new statutory duties for strata managers;
- enhanced management standards for strata corporations;
- voting and meeting reforms;
- upgrades to enforcing bylaws;
- improved consumer-protection measures for buyers;
- a new system for resolving strata disputes;
- greater flexibility in provisions governing phased strata plans;
- new enabling provisions allowing the creation of leasehold strata plans;
- modernization and clarification of the language of the act;
- new rules on terminating a strata, including lowering the voting threshold from unanimous to 80-percent approval.
The last point is a topic that Western Australia shares in common with British Columbia, which has also reformed its legislation on terminating a strata. As in British Columbia, this aspect of the legislation generated considerable interest in Western Australia. The bill was held up for a month pending a report (PDF) by the standing committee on legislation, which recommended the adoption of additional safeguards. These safeguards were implemented in the final version of the bill.
Landgate reports that its attention “will now focus on completing the regulations to support the amended Strata Titles Act 1985,” which “will involve further consultation with public, government, industry and community stakeholders on those regulations.”