Property 101: New NSW strata laws will set the pace of change for the property industry

Property 101: New NSW strata laws will set the pace of change for the property industry
Property 101: New NSW strata laws will set the pace of change for the property industry

New South Wales has modernised its strata laws to reflect the realities of 21st Century living.

The laws come into effect on 30 November 2016, and are expected to set the pace of change for the industry as a whole, according to property services company, PICA.

Among the new legislation are relaxed requirements for attending general and committee meetings and voting.

Owners can now use conference calls and video conferencing to participate in meetings, removing the need for proxies.

Greg Nash, managing director and group CEO, PICA, said, investor owners who don’t live in or near their property will now be able to participate in meetings more easily without the expense and inconvenience of travel. They can keep a better eye on their investment and be more involved in decision-making.

“For strata managers being able to use modern technology to communicate will increase productivity and efficiency, enabling urgent matters to be addressed offsite if necessary," he said.

"Plus, the challenges of coordinating schedules become less of an issue since investors no longer have to travel for meetings."

The new legislation also changes how meeting notifications are sent. Currently, meeting notices must be sent via post or, if there is already a by-law in place, they may be sent by email. The postal address must be located in Australia, making foreign investment tricky. When the new legislation takes effect, by-laws will no longer be necessary for meeting notices to be sent by email. This makes it simpler for people to keep track of notices.

Greg Nash said some people still prefer post and that will remain an option.

"These new laws are simply taking advantage of the way communications technology can streamline processes. Most people prefer to communicate via email for greater convenience,” he said.

"The need to accommodate the varying ways people prefer to attend meetings means strata management companies may need to invest in new technology. This could include video conferencing or unified communications solutions, for example.

"PICA has invested heavily in a property services online platform that offers options for people to communicate in the way that suits them. It also includes a self-service capability so that owners no longer have to contact the strata manager to keep informed of repairs and maintenance progress.

“The new NSW legislation sets the pace of change for the industry in a positive way. It raises the professionalism of strata managers and makes it easier for them to look after owners’ interests. The NSW approach is really just the first step; it’s a blueprint for the future.”

NSW Strata Laws


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