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NSW strata law reforms come into effect: REINSW

Years of consultation and review have resulted with significant reforms to NSW strata laws commencing on 30 November 2016.

REINSW President John Cunningham said over 90 new strata laws will make a difference to the lives of those living in New South Wales.

“These reforms will benefit owners, tenants and property managers and bring the laws in line with current thinking,” Mr Cunningham said.

“They recognise the changes that have been made in technology in the last 25 years with strata meeting voting now allowed digitally, via Skype calls and by email.

“Everyday improvements like hanging pictures; coat hooks and filling cracks can go ahead and kitchen or bathroom renovations, installing timber or tile floors and replacing wiring or power points no longer need a special resolution by-law.

“Landlords may be held liable to their tenants for second hand smoke exposure. Owners corporations can also create by-Laws banning smoking throughout an entire strata building. Orders against residents who smoke or allow their cigarette or BBQ smoke to drift into other units can also be created.

“The keeping of pets has been made easier as a request to keep a pet cannot be unreasonable refused. Owners will be able to appeal to the Tribunal if they believe the request was unreasonable withheld.

“Reviewing and updating legislation is vital to ensuring that it keeps pace with changing society. We look forward to continued amendments to strata legislation over the coming years,” Mr Cunningham said.

According to the NSW Fair Trading website key changes include:

  • strengthening the accountability of strata managers
  • allowing owners to adopt modern technology to conduct meetings, vote, communicate and administer their scheme
  • the need for owners to review by-laws (strata community rules) within 12 months, which can be customised to suit their lifestyle – such as whether to allow owners to keep a pet by giving notice to the owners corporation
  • a process for the collective sale and renewal of a strata scheme
  • a simpler, clearer process for dealing with disputes
  • broadening tenant participation in meetings
  • a new option to manage unauthorised parking through a commercial arrangement between a local council and a strata scheme
  • a clearer and simpler three-tier renovations process, which waives approval for cosmetic renovations within the strata lot (for example, installing handrails for safety).

Click here to visit the NSW Fair Trading for more information on how the changes effect investors, renters and strata managing agents

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