Recent Buying Selling Lifestyle
Recent Buying Selling Lifestyle

New strata changes are a positive

Written by Kerrie Walker
More than 90 changes to NSW strata legislation came into force on the 30th of November 2016. While the transition for owner's corporations may seem somewhat complex, the changes are intended to have a positive impact on owners and bring strata laws into the modern age. Here are some of the key areas you can take advantage of now.

Fine with me

Fines will be bigger for breaching strata by-laws, but the money will now be paid to the owners corporation instead of the government, so they will be worth pursuing. The fine has been increased to a maximum of $1,100 for a first offence, and $2,220 for subsequent breaches within 12 months of the first penalty.

Reno relief

Cosmetic renovations can now occur with no restrictions; while minor renovations that have more impact will require 50 per cent of owners’ votes; and anything that impacts the external appearance or structure of the building will require 75% of owners’ votes. That means zero need for engaging with owners for laying carpet, painting or putting up a picture onto the wall!

Car park crackdown

Owners corporations will be able to make arrangements with local council parking rangers to patrol their car parks and issue parking infringement notices to vehicles parked in restricted areas. The owners corporation will also have the right to move a vehicle that is parked illegally on common property, or that blocks an exit or entrance. Patrolled parking will come at a fee, but is a way to stop people abusing visitor parking.

Vote of confidence

Committees no longer have to rely on in-person voting or by proxy, and can instead agree to allow other means of voting, such as via email, social media, teleconference or video conference. This will encourage and allow more owners to participate in decision-making, especially absent investors.

Fair play

There will be a restriction on the amount of proxy votes (whereby an owner nominates any other owner to vote on their behalf). This will prevent one or two individuals potentially controlling the decisions made by the owners corporation and enable fairer resolutions.

Levies paid back

Owners corporations will be able to apply for compensation if a developer promises unrealistic low levies at the time of sale, and will have three years to make a claim at the Tribunal. The vigilant law will hopefully deter developers from using the misleading marketing tactic, and will fuel buyer’s confidence when shopping off-the-plan.

Find out more information here

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