With WA's population predicted to increase by more than five million by 2056 and the increasing need for innovative housing options, the Strata Titles Amendment Bill 2018 (WA) (STA Bill) was passed by Parliament on 1 November 2018. The STA Bill brings about the most significant changes in strata law in more than last 20 years.
Here are five key changes to strata law that the STA Bill brings about:
- Improving the regulation and management of strata schemes
Statutory duties will be imposed on strata managers and strata companies to make them more accountable and encourage higher professional standards.
Strata companies will be able to keep electronic records to provide owners with easier access to information, and strata company procedures will be streamlined.
- New forms of strata
Leasehold strata titles schemes will be introduced as a new form of land ownership, operating as a strata/survey-strata scheme created for a fixed period.
Leasehold schemes will be particularly useful in providing affordable housing and developing land that the government wishes to retain control over in the long term.
- Better information to buyers
Buyers of strata lots will receive more information about the lot that they are buying from the original proprietor, such as estimated contributions a buyer will have to pay in the 12 months after settlement.
- . Faster resolution of strata disputes
The State Administrative Tribunal's (SAT) jurisdiction will be expanded so that it will become the 'one-stop-shop' for strata disputes.
The SAT's increased powers in include:
- removing the $1000 limit on monetary orders the SAT can make; and
- people with standing being able to apply directly to the SAT to resolve a dispute without having to go through more expensive dispute resolution processes.
- Safeguards for termination of strata schemes
With the first strata schemes in WA created over 50 years ago, termination and redevelopment of strata/survey strata schemes is expected to become more common. The current process to terminate a strata scheme is confusing and difficult to follow.
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