The New South Wales Government has announced that the reforms to
strata law will come into effect from November 30, 2016.
The reforms are a culmination of public consultation over the
past 5 years and comprise approximately 90 key amendments to
existing strata law. These reforms have manifested themselves in
the Strata Schemes (Management) Act 2015 (NSW) and the Strata
Schemes (Development) Act 2015 (NSW).
We have previously prepared two articles setting out a high
level review of these reforms which can be found at:
We set out in this article a brief overview of some of the
likely impacts these amendments will have on Owners Corporations
and property rights for lot owners.
Impact on Owners Corporations
Reducing "proxy farming" by limiting the number of
proxy votes any one person can hold.
Modernising Owners Corporation meetings by allowing Owners
Corporation to provide for electronic attendance and voting.
Allowing for the nomination of a non-voting tenant's
representative for stratum's which have more than 50 per cent
of the lots being rented.
Impact on lot owner property rights
Empowering 75 per cent of lot owners to agree a collective sale
plan for the entire strata regardless of objections from the
remaining 25 per cent (but subject to the approval of the NSW Land
and Environment Court).
Determining that any Owners Corporation consent to lot owners
to carry out minor renovations (e.g. renovating kitchens, floors
and reconfiguring walls) cannot be unreasonably withheld.
Restricting occupancy limits under by-laws to a two adults per
bedroom, per lot basis.
Building Defects Bond Scheme
Although November 30, 2016 is the key date, enforcement of the
building defects bond scheme (including mandatory defect inspection
reports and lodgement of building bonds) has been delayed until
July 1, 2017. As new Australian Standards for inspections of group
title buildings will be finalised by then, the NSW Government has
decided to provide industry and other stakeholders with additional
time to adequately prepare.
Given current estimates by the NSW State Government that 50 per
cent of the NSW population will either be living or working in
strata properties, understanding these reforms is crucial for both
developers and investors to capitalise on opportunities both now
and in the future.
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