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New strata laws could revolutionise the apartment world

clock icon February 16, 2017
tag iconLegal & Property Law Property Management

After years of consultation and review, the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading have passed more than 90 changes to the strata laws for New South Wales which took effect on November 30, 2016.

One of the biggest changes to effect apartment owners is it will now take a vote of 75% of owners to sell an apartment block to developers, whereas previously one vote against the sale could stop this from occurring.

The new 75% rule has been prompted by a series of cases where certain residents have held out against other parties in the building, making a joint sale impossible.

Although the government has said fair compensation will be offered to those who are effectively ‘forced’ from their homes, this change is being critiqued as benefiting developers over individual owners.

Other major reforms include:

Pet friendly changes

Owners and renters can now approach the strata committee for permission to have a pet which cannot be unreasonably refused.

Smoke bans

The owners’ corporations can now create by-laws banning smoking throughout an entire strata building. Orders against residents who smoke or allow their cigarette or barbecue smoke to drift into other units can also be created.

Renovating and common property walls

There are now three new by-laws separating cosmetic, minor, and major renovations, meaning that if you’re planning just a cosmetic update you’ll only need to notify the committee, a minor reno will require a vote by the committee and a major renovation (i.e. structural changes) ill involve a special resolution at a general meeting.

Dumped goods

Owners corps will now be able to remove, or sell, goods which have been left on common property too long.

Tenants will have more say

Tenants will have a right to attend owners corporation meetings, no matter how many of the lots are tenanted in their scheme. Only if financial matters are being discussed, does the strata commit have a right to exclude tenants.

Fine changes

Under the previous strata conditions for fines, the fee would go to the government. In the new by-laws the money will now go to the owners corp, giving committees an added incentive to take more action.

For a full list of the new strata laws in NSW, visit fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

 

If you want to speak to an experienced property manager about strata, contact our team

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