NSW Strata Laws Brought Into The 21st Century

Member for Baulkham Hills David Elliott has welcomed the release of proposed new strata laws by the Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts.

 Mr Elliott said the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government reforms will benefit Baulkham Hills strata residents through 70 common sense changes.

 “The NSW Government has consulted with the community and industry representatives for more than two years and received over 3,000 responses, making the strata law changes the biggest reform ever undertaken by Fair Trading,” Mr Elliott said.

 “A high rise developer bond, equivalent to 2% of the cost of the building work, will be introduced to provide protection for strata homeowners if a developer becomes insolvent and to address defective work.

 The State’s strata buildings are ageing, the cost of maintaining them can be too expensive for some owners, and even then the buildings may not comply with modern safety standards.  Trying to end a strata scheme can be costly, with only five having ceased through Supreme Court orders since the laws were first introduced in the 1960s.  To address these expensive options the Government is proposing to introduce a six step process for collective sales and renewals.

 “At each Annual General Meeting managing agents will be required to disclose commissions received in the previous 12 months and seek approval for those expected during the next year.  All non-monetary benefits and gifts from third parties will be banned.

 “By-law changes will ban smoking in a lot or on any part of common property where smoke causes a nuisance or a hazard.  Certain small pets will be allowed to be kept without permission, schemes will be able to place a limit on the number of people who occupy lots to prevent overcrowding, and owners corporations will be able to enter into arrangements with the local council to issue and enforce penalty notices for unauthorised parking.

 “The proposed laws also tackle simple problems like the disposal of abandoned goods on common property which the current model doesn’t address.

 “There are more than 72,000 NSW strata schemes and five new schemes are registered every day.  Within 20 years half of the State’s population is expected to be living or working in a strata or community scheme.  The O’Farrell-Stoner Government is acting now to meet this challenge.

 “I strongly urge all strata residents in the Baulkham Hills area to read the proposed law changes that will make life simpler and easier for NSW strata residents,” Mr Elliott said.

 A copy of the Position Paper is available at: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au