NSW’s New Strata Laws
The recent NSW Government elections could have implications for strata residents across the state. The strata community is on the new liberal government’s radar which could mean legislative changes for tenants. But who are these changes likely to affect?
Here are six areas we think may see changes:
1. Updated strata legislation
Recent strata community legislation has come under criticism from various parties. Up to 40 unintended consequences and contradictions have been identified in the legislation which need to be addressed. Thus far, no commitment has been made to address these issues but they should be top of the agenda for any incoming liberal government.
2. Community legislation
A paper discussing reforms to strata community legislation was introduced in 2006. This was followed by another paper which recommended a further 58 reforms in 2014. These reforms were shelved prior to the development of new strata legislation. How and when these reforms will be implemented will be dependent on how strata legislation develops after the election.
3. Short-term holiday letting
Airbnb style letting is putting pressure on housing stock and communities. The Liberal government has proposed a new code of conduct which is intended to provide guidance to property owners. But this has proved divisive in both government and strata communities. So we may have to wait until new strata legislation is finalised before the situation becomes clearer.
4. Licensing of strata managers
The licensing of strata managers and other building management professionals was on the agenda before the election. Consultations were held with key stakeholders in the strata community in 2018. It is expected the new government will revive these proposals which will affect how strata managers engage with owners, tenants and councils.
5. Cladding legislation
There is growing political pressure to do something about cladding following recent high profile fires in Australia and the UK. As a result, new legislation has been put in place which affects strata properties. All properties which have flammable cladding are required to register with their local council. However, the cost of remediation is to be borne by the affected properties themselves.
6. Building compliance
Following the Opal Tower case, there has been considerable outrage regarding the lack of accountability for the construction of new buildings. New measures have been introduced, such as the 2% building bond scheme, which forces builders to set aside 2% of the build cost to cover any defects found in the building after completion. It remains to be seen if these will be effective or whether further legislation is required.
While this does not constitute a comprehensive list of legislative reforms in the pipeline, it does point the way to what reforms the strata community can expect going forward. To help prepare strata managers for legislative change, MYBOS building management software has developed a suite of applications which can be used to prepare for and manage changes as they occur.