Many health care providers own or lease business premises which are the subject of Strata title and currently more than a quarter of NSW’s population lives in, owns or manages Strata property.
Significant changes to Strata laws in NSW commenced on 30 November 2016 under the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, the Strata Schemes Management Regulations 2016, the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 and the Strata Schemes and Development Regulations 2016. The changes are designed to better suit the way we live and communicate today. Some of the changes are set out below.
What’s new for owners?
1. Get renovations approved
Getting renovations approved is now simpler. ‘Cosmetic Work’ that affects common property (like painting, laying carpet etc.) no longer require approval.45
There is also a streamlined approval process that makes it clear what approval is required for ‘minor renovations’, for example kitchen renovations, changing recessed light fittings, installing or replacing wood or other hard ﬂoors, configuring walls etc.46
2. Dealing with parking issues
Unauthorised parking has been a common headache. A new option has been introduced to manage parking through a commercial arrangement between a local council and a strata scheme.47
3. Get involved with new voting options
Procedures to adopt modern technology have been introduced. Participation in a meeting from a remote location is now possible. Voting on a matter to be determined by the corporation or committee is permitted by means of teleconferencing, video-conferencing, email or other electronic means.48
4. Collectively sell or renew your Strata
A new measure has been introduced to facilitate the collective sale or redevelopment of freehold strata schemes. The Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (NSW) now sets out a procedure if at least 75% of the owners agree and other conditions are met.49
What’s new for tenants?
There are also changes that affect tenants. This includes the opportunity for tenants to be represented on Strata Committees if there are tenants for at least half the number of lots in the Scheme, and being able to attend meetings of the Owners Corporation where major decisions are made.50
What must I do now?
Owners should be aware that the changes now impose an obligation that the bylaws of Strata Schemes must be reviewed by 30 November 2017. Owners can use the new model bylaws as a guide or they can contact the writer to assist with reviewing their existing bylaws.
45 Section 109 of Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.
46 Section 110 of Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.
47 Section 650A of Local Government Act 1993.
48 Regulation 14 of Strata Schemes Management Regulations 2016.
49 SSDA Part 10.
50 Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 s 33 and Strata Schemes Management Regulations 2016 Reg 7.