AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
On November 30, 2016, important new reform affecting strata occupants and investors will commence in New South Wales. In summary, the key factors to take into account are:
NEED TO BE 1
FINANCES Financial reporting requirements will change and there will be changes in timing of levy payments and interest payments on arrears levies. Those who have not been raising funds to match their 10-year sinking funds can expect significant increases in levies to catch up.
REGARDING THE 2 STRATA REFORM DUE TO COMMENCE ON NOVEMBER 30, 2016 3
COLLECTIVE SALE OR DEVELOPMENT Provision is to be made for compulsory sale or redevelopment of strata buildings, even where there is a dissenting minority, by means of a strata renewal plan. There will be a broader range of options for someone owning such a property or proposing to buy one, but if you buy a strata property, it might not be your choice when you sell it. The power will be shifting from the minority to the 75 percent majority, and those living in areas recently rezoned to a much higher density will be considering their options.
BY DAVID BANNERMAN
BYLAWS The real changes to the existing bylaws are to reflect the renovations comments above, permit dogs without consent that are registered under the Disability Discrimination Act of 1992, and, interestingly, bylaws that are harsh, unjust, or oppressive will be of no force or effect. There will also be greater scope for bylaws addressing issues such as unauthorized parking, smoking, and occupant numbers, as well as improved mechanisms for enforcing bylaws.
COMMON PROPERTY MAINTENANCE A lot owner may be able to claim compensation from the owner’s corporation for failure to maintain common property if it causes loss to the lot owner. This is an interesting shift back to about four or five years ago, and it is likely that many claims will be made.
RENOVATIONS Lot owners will be able to carry out “minor cosmetic work” without the consent of the owner’s corporation. Simpler procedures could potentially apply for “minor renovations,” where owner’s corporation consent will still be required. The practical effect here is often what happens in reality in most cases.
BUSINESS EDITION | FALL 2016
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