What is happening with Strata reform?

Currently more than a quarter of NSW population lives, owns or manages strata. To modernise strata laws in New South Wales, the New South Wales Fair Trading has recently announced that the new Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) (Act) will come into effect on 30 November 2016. The Act will replace the existing Strata Schemes Management Act 1996.

Many new requirements will not impact strata communities immediately. Time will be allowed to ensure that roles such as pre-appointed strata managing agents, building managers and executive committee members, can continue once the reform start.

Key changes under the new Act include:

  • Accountability of strata managers has been strengthened
  • Allowing modern technology to be used to conduct meetings, vote, communicate and administer their scheme
  • A review period of 12 months for owners of the by-laws (strata community rules)
  • Simpler process for dealing with disputes
  • A process for the collective sale and renewal of a strata scheme

Although the new Act will take effect on 30 November 2016, there is still a couple of important pieces of information to be aware of:

  1. Decisions already made and financial contributions already levied under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 remain valid once the new laws start.
  2. Legal proceedings already underway will be dealt with under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996, when the proceedings began.

In line with the new Act, New South Wales will provide time for Strata Schemes to understand and adjust to the new requirements after the reforms start.

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