Minor concerns surround NSW Strata reform bills

Minor concerns surround NSW Strata reform bills
Minor concerns surround NSW Strata reform bills

GUEST OBSERVER

The Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW welcomes the release of the state government’s Strata reform Bills following more than three years of stakeholder consultation.

The Bills introduce a number of measures that reflect the complexity of modern strata developments, and have the capacity to continue to change as more home buyers prefer to live in apartments. The strata laws under which we operate are the oldest in the world so the system is in desperate need of an upgrade.

Under current strata schemes it is difficult to renew dilapidated buildings because of outdated processes and procedures.

These Bills pave the way for Strata schemes to opt to modernise buildings that have reached the end of their economic life. 

The Bills do not apply to existing strata schemes, only future strata schemes with current strata schemes having the option to opt in, so it will take time to see material change in the NSW system. The introduction of the legislation will also be telling. 

We won’t see an impact from the draft Bills overnight, the true impact will be realised when the legislation is introduced, and we see the effect on existing strata schemes.

Numerous protections have been introduced for owners under the new schemes including a 2% bond to guard against building defects and major protections for elderly and disadvantaged residents through just-terms compensation and legal assistance. 

The UDIA NSW has minor concerns with aspects of the draft bills, particularly the proposal to include a non-voting tenant representative on strata executive committees – which may not be effective for a number of reasons including the often transient nature of tenants.  

While we will be working through the details over the coming weeks, we can’t lose site of the fact that the reforms are an improvement on the antiquated system that presently exists.

The Institute will be making a submission to the draft Bills and it looks forward to continuing to work with government on strata reform.

Stephen Albin is chief executive of the Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW. He can be contacted here.

Tags: 
Strata Reform

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