The NSW Government is reforming NSW strata laws. This is the first major reform of strata laws since the Strata Titles Act was made in 1973. Reforms seek to bring strata laws into the 21st century. They will create a modern framework for residents living in strata schemes today.
SOURCE | NSW Fair Trading | www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au
What is this about?
NSW has around 75,000 strata schemes worth $350 billion in assets. The reforms will affect some 2 million industry professionals, strata owners, and residents in strata-titled townhouses and units. Based on consultation, more than 90 proposed reforms will update 50-year-old strata scheme laws. Together, they will help to guide strata schemes to best manage their strata community’s needs into the future. The changes aim to:
- make it easier for owners corporations to manage issues like pets, parking and by-laws
- create a new democratic process for collective sale and renewal of strata schemes
- support the responsible management of schemes with new accountabilities for strata managing agents
- establish a new process to help ensure building defects are addressed early in the life of the building
- enable modern forms of communication (including new options for your strata scheme to keep and issue electronic records, issue email updates and attend meetings ‘virtually’) to allow greater participation in schemes.
What is happening?
On 27 October 2015, the NSW Parliament passed the Strata Scheme Management Bill 2015 and Strata Scheme Development Bill 2015. This does not mean the new laws have commenced. Before the new laws start in mid 2016:
- new regulations will be developed and consulted on
- key information will be developed for strata schemes
- a comprehensive public awareness campaign will take place to make people aware of their new rights and responsibilities.
At this stage it is anticipated that the new laws will commence on 1 July 2016.
Click on the links below to learn more about the proposed reforms;
Click on the links below NSW Government Fact sheets;
What’s happened so far?
Research and people having their say has informed the comprehensive reforms. This includes 1,200 online and 1,900 discussion paper submissions.
Consultation has included the following:
- 15 July 2015 – 12 August 2015: public consultation on the draft strata Bills – view the submissions on the draft strata Bills.
- November 2013: strata position paper released, outlining reforms
- 2013: roundtable meetings with industry and strata experts
- September 2012 – November 2012: discussion paper inviting comment on reform options and online survey. View the public consultation submission list
- December 2011 – February 2012: Online consultation by Global Access Partners.
- Position paper – Strata Title Law Reform
- Making NSW No. 1 Again: Shaping Future Communities – Strata and Community Title Law Reform Discussion Paper
- Minister for Fair Trading’s speech – Preparing NSW for change
- Commissioner for Fair Trading’s speech – Preparing NSW for change
Next Steps? A word from Conti Strata
At this stage, we are awaiting direction from Strata Community Australia who issued a media release to all its members on 29 October 2015.
“SCA (NSW) has engaged a legal team to prepare and deliver training sessions on the new legislation. That training will be a comprehensive review of all of the impact on the current arrangements and include (when it is passed) the regulations which will hold all of the details on new forms and processes.
There is no need for anyone to do any training until we have the complete regulations and how the new act is going to work. We will keep you up to speed as matters arise so don’t panic as we have plenty of time.
We will be providing a general review of the legislative changes to all members ASAP so keep an eye out for it.
We are grateful to the NSW Government, Opposition and minor parties for their work in debating these Bills and for the amendments achieved thus far. We still have some work to do but look forward to further discussions with the Minister and NSW Fair Trading as we move into a new strata era.
SCA (NSW) President”
Conti Strata will keep you informed of progress and in time, will provide guidance.
If you have any questions, we ask that you await our future updates.
Your ongoing support is appreciated.
Please Note – The information contained in this article is general information only and not legal advice. The currency, accuracy and completeness of this article (and its contents) should be checked by obtaining independent legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon its contents in any way.