Property 101: New South Wales strata reforms and tenants rights

Property 101: New South Wales strata reforms and tenants rights
Property 101: New South Wales strata reforms and tenants rights

The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) which, but for part 11, will commence on 30 November 2016 gives “eligible tenants” certain rights.

Section 258 of the Act requires landlords (or sub-lessors) to notify the owners corporation of any tenants (or sub-tenants) by way of a tenancy notice.

At a minimum, the following information must be provided: the lot number, names of all tenants, an address for service of notices (which may be an email address), the date the tenancy is to start and the name of the agent acting on behalf of the lot owner (if any).

Once notice has been provided the tenant or tenants are eligible tenants.

If the strata scheme has received tenants notices for at least half the lots in the scheme a tenants meeting must be held 14 days prior to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to allow eligible tenants to elect one tenant representative to the strata committee.

Eligible tenants must, at least 7 days before any AGM or extraordinary general meeting (EGM), be given a copy of the agenda. However if there is a noticeboard for the scheme required by the by-laws then the agenda need only be displayed on the noticeboard. Note not all meeting documents need be provided to eligible tenants.

Tenant representatives have a right to attend strata committee meetings, AGMs & EGMs but

  • have no right to vote or to address the meeting (unless authorised);
  • cannot put motions on the agenda or nominate a person for office;
  • cannot act as an officer of the owners corporation;
  • are not counted for the purposes of quorum for strata committee meetings; and
  • may be excluded from discussions on financial statements, audit reports, levying or recovery of contributions and strata renewal

Tenant representatives must also be provided with notice of any strata committee meeting and a copy of the strata committee meeting minutes.

Eligible tenants have a right to attend an AGM or EGM but, unless they hold the proxy on behalf of the owner of their lot (or another lot in the scheme), they have no voting rights, no right to address the meeting and may be asked to leave if there are discussions on financial statements, audit reports, levying or recovery of contributions or strata renewal.

Note all tenants have a right to receive a copy of the by-laws for the scheme (and the strata management statement if applicable) within 14 days of becoming eligible for possession of the property. Your landlord or sub-lessor must provide this information.

The article first appeared on Kerin Benson Lawyers.

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Retail Tenants Strata Law

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