The NSW Government has introduced 31 reforms to make it easier for people and their pets to live in a strata community or a community land scheme.
The Strata Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 (the Bill) will immediately benefit residents and owners and includes important changes to how strata communities operate and increases transparency of strata and association committees.
Strata residents can now keep their pet at home with the peace of mind they cannot be charged a fee, bond or insurance by an owner's corporation for this right. It is also now easier for people with assistance animals to prove to an owner’s corporation their animal’s ‘assistance’ status.
The Bill also delivers a more transparent strata renewal process by expanding requirements to disclose conflicts of interest, closing loopholes that have been open to manipulation.
Owners will have to disclose whether they have a pecuniary or other interest in the strata renewal proposal, including when the owner is related to the proposed purchaser of the strata building, or has made a competing offer to buy the building.
Strata and association committees are critical to creating a liveable community and oversee budget, funds and building insurance, record keeping and resolve issues and disputes. These committees are made up of representatives chosen by owners in the strata scheme.
The Bill tightens controls on strata and association committee members, like lowering voting thresholds for removing members and restricting when removed members can re-serve.
Other changes include requiring at least two quotes for proposed work costing more than $30,000 and allowing an owner's corporation to require levy payments in fourteen days for emergency repairs.
The Bill was consulted on by many organisations and experts including Animal Care Australia, the Strata Community Association, Tenants Union NSW, and the Owners Corporation Network.
Quotes to be attributed to Strata and Property Services Commissioner John Minns:
“More than one million people live in strata communities in NSW. With 50 per cent of Greater Sydney residents expected to live in a strata complex by 2040, it is important we get these changes made now to provide residents with security for themselves and their furry friends.
“The new Bill makes important changes for residents and clarifies rules and requirements for owners and committees.
“Owners, renters, and organisations called for change, and we are listening.
“The benefits of these reforms should be felt immediately.”
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