The Minister for Lands, Terry Redman, announced this month that
the Western Australian Government will proceed with fundamental
reforms to WA's strata title system in 2016.
State Cabinet has given approval for the drafting of a new Bill
to amend the Strata Titles Act, and the Minister intends to
introduce the amended legislation to State Parliament in Spring
Since being tasked by the State Government to deliver reforms to
the Strata Titles Act 1985 (Act),
Landgate have focused on 5 key areas of reform:
New forms of strata;
Buyer information and protection;
Resolving strata disputes;
Management of strata disputes; and
Termination of strata schemes.
PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE ACT
New forms of strata
The introduction of two new types of Strata title: community
title schemes and leasehold strata schemes.
Community title schemes will allow management of mixed use and
multiple schemes in one land parcel, and in a single building.
Leasehold strata schemes, over freehold land, will give the
buyer of a unit a long term lease of between 21 – 99 years,
for which a certificate of title is issued.
The reforms will also include proposals to improve the staging
of strata developments allowing developers to develop staged
schemes, faster and with less red tape.
Buyer information and protection
Information given to buyers before signing a contract will be
simplified, provide more relevant information (including levies),
and set out in an easier to read format.
New forms, for community title schemes and leasehold strata
schemes will also be created.
Resolving strata disputes
Under the proposed reforms, the State Administrative Tribunal
will become the central forum for strata disputes and the
Tribunal's powers will be strengthened to streamline procedures
and issue enforcements.
Management of strata schemes
Proposed changes to the regulation of strata managers will
include imposing key duties and obligations strata managers must
perform. Key duties may include:
holding a trust account for strata funds;
disclosing conflicts of interest; and
acting with honesty.
Any disputes in relation to these duties can be taken to the
State Administrative Tribunal for resolution.
The minimum public liability insurance required will increase
from $5 million to $20 million dollars.
The reforms will also allow electronic communication and voting
and record keeping. Additionally, the reforms will provide figures
on how many strata managers there are in Western Australia and the
State Government will use this information to consider the need for
Termination of strata schemes
Under the proposed changes, the termination of strata schemes
requires a 75 per cent majority vote, for schemes of four lots or
more. For two or three lot schemes, a majority of owners is
Every application must undergo a review by the State
Administrative Tribunal for an assessment of procedure and fairness
to all owners.
Developers and strata managers will need to continue to keep a
close watch on these developments as they fundamentally change the
way in which strata titles will be created and managed in WA.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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