An Overview of the Strata Legislation Amendment Bill 2023
On 10th October 2023, the Strata Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 was introduced, proposing various amendments to the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015, Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, the Community Land Management Act 2021, and the Community and Development Act 2021.
Although is expected to change as it passes through the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, the amendments have been previously reported, and significant modifications are unlikely to occur. Here are some notable changes to the current legislation:
Strata Schemes Development Act 2015
Proposed Changes to Strata Renewal Committee Operations
The following changes have been proposed to the Strata Renewal Committee’s operations:
Proposed changes to strata renewal laws include extending the committee’s operation for two years, allowing the court to order renewal even if preliminary steps are not fully compliant, clarifying dissenting owners’ cost orders, and allowing cost orders against dissenting owners in certain circumstances.
This amendment proposes avoiding the need to review the unit entitlements for the entire strata scheme where a subdivision involves only a small amount of common property.
Strata Schemes Management Act 2015
Managing agents must notify their owners’ corporation three months before their term ends but not earlier than six months before.
The original owner has 14 days instead of 48 hours to supply specified documents before the first annual general meeting.
The committee can be appointed outside of an AGM, and the threshold to remove a committee member has changed to an ordinary resolution, with a 12-month bar on reappointment.
The committee will also consider an interest disclosure by a committee member.
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Annual General Meetings
The notice period for Annual General Meetings is proposed to be 14 days, rather than the current 7.
The proposed amendment to section 76 would allow an owners corporation to determine within 3 months whether money or part of the money should be reimbursed to the capital works fund or administrative fund. Currently, there is no discretion. Additionally, the notice time for levies relating to urgent works may be shortened from 30 to 14 days to address serious or immediate threats to health and safety.
Proposed amendment would require all strata schemes, not just large ones, to obtain two quotes from unrelated entities for works exceeding $30,000.
Restricting Pets and requiring Bonds
Recent amendments clarify that pets cannot be restricted and a bond cannot be required for pet approval. The changes also specify acceptable proof of an animal being an assistance animal.
An owners corporation can consolidate their current by-laws by special resolution even where they do not have any change of by-laws to register.
Specified records of the owners corporation (including strata rolls) are to be kept in electronic form six months from when this amending bill becomes law.
The restrictions on the number proxies a person can hold are extended to apply to votes held by company nominees and powers of attorney.
Two Lot schemes
Amendments have been made for two-lot schemes, including changes to the original owner’s voting power reduction and the removal of the need for a resolution to pursue a breach of a by-law.
Community Land Management Act 2021
The amendments to the Community Land Management Act 2021 include similar changes to the Strata Schemes Management Act. They cover various aspects such as committee member election and removal, notice of expiring agency agreements, repayment of funds used for expenses of another fund, shorter levy notice for urgent works, two-quote requirement, restrictions on pet ownership and bonds, consolidation of by-laws, extended notice period for AGMs, and limitations on company nominees and powers of attorney.
These changes to the Strata Legislation aim to improve the operations and management of strata schemes and Community Land Management in New South Wales.
The amendments seek to address several aspects such as
- strata renewal committee operations,
- strata managers,
- original owners,
- strata committees,
- annual general meetings,
- multiple quotes,
- by-laws, records,
- two-lot schemes,
The proposed changes are expected to address common issues and concerns in the Strata Management industry, ensure transparency and accountability, and protect the interests of both owners and tenants.
While the bill is not yet passed, it is hoped that its implementation will lead to more efficient and effective strata management in New South Wales.