Changes to the NSW Strata and Community Titles legislation
Under the Strata Legislation Amendment Bill 2023, various changes have been made to the strata and community titles legislation.
The changes commenced on 11 December 2023 (transitional arrangements are in place for certain changes).
The 4 Acts which have been amended are:
- Strata Schemes Management Act 2015
- Strata Schemes Development Act 2015
- Community Land Management Act 2021
- Community Land Development Act 2021
The changes are based on the recommendations in the 2021 Report on the Statutory Review of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 and Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.
Some of the key changes implemented are:
- Owner corporations and associations may not require fees, bonds or insurances as a condition of keeping a pet.
- Owners corporations and associations can ask the owner to provide the following evidence of their assistant animal’s status, including:
- evidence the animal holds an accreditation under a State or Territory law.
- a statutory declaration verifying the animal has been trained to assist a person with disability and has standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for an animal in a public place.
- Owners corporations and associations cannot ask for private medical records as evidence.
Quote for works
- Owners corporations and associations must obtain two independent quotations for proposed expenditure over $30k, except when for emergency purposes (previously this only applied to large schemes, now applies to all schemes).
- If the quotations are not obtained, then there must be an agenda item for the next general meeting to note the expense and why the two quotations could not be obtained.
- Managing agents must give notice of expiry of their agreement within the period of 3 to 6 months before contract expiry.
- The Commission for Fair Trading will be able to make an application to appoint a compulsory manager for both strata schemes and associations (this has not yet commenced).
- Strata committees and association committees must be elected at AGM and may also now be elected another general meeting.
- Committee members may be removed by ordinary resolution (rather than special resolution). If removed, the member cannot be a committee member again for another 12 months.
- Notice periods for holding an AGM have increased to 14 days.
- From 10 May 2024 schemes must keep their records electronically.
- Where a lot is leased, the ‘relevant person’ must notify the owners corporation or association that the lot has been leased within 14 days after commencement of the lease. If the landlord is represented by a real estate agent, the real estate agent is the relevant person, otherwise it is the landlord. If the real estate agent or landlord does not notify, either may be fined for non-compliance.
- Tenants must be provided with a copy of the by-laws and management statements applicable to the scheme (for example any strata management statement if applicable).
- All owners must disclose any direct or indirect financial or other interest they have in a strata renewal proposal at key decision points as a renewal plan is developed.
- The Land and Environment Court (LEC) is to consider potential conflicts of interest before making an order to approve a plan or endorse an objection.
- LEC may award costs against dissenting owners in the renewal process who act unreasonably or in bad faith.
- LEC will have scope to approve a renewal plan where there are defects or irregularities in the renewal process, providing there is no substantial injustice caused by those defects or irregularities.
Subdivisions involving common property
- Where a subdivision involves common property, a valuation for the unit entitlement of lots not subject to the subdivision will not be required if in the valuer’s opinion the subdivision involves only minor common property and the unit entitlement of each lot will not change as a result of the subdivision.
This article was written by Emma Smythies, Partner in our NSW office. If you have any questions about this article, or you require assistance for your NSW strata scheme, please contact our NSW office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.