With strata communities in NSW adjusting to the major reforms that came in to effect on 30 November 2016, some frequently asked questions on Strata Reform have started to emerge.
Test your knowledge of the new strata laws with the questions below.
The Q&A’s include:
Yes. Some contracts will end on 30 May 2017 as a result of the new strata laws.
The new laws set a 3-year maximum for strata managing agent appointments. However, transitional provisions are in place to help strata schemes transition to the new 3-year maximum terms.
For pre-existing contracts which appoint strata managing agents for a term greater than 3 years, these appointments end 3 years after the date of appointment OR 6 months after commencement of the new laws (that is, by 30 May 2017), whichever is the later. This allows pre-existing contracts of more than 3 years to continue until 30 May 2017 to give owners corporations and strata managers time to prepare for the next appointment or reappointment of a strata managing agent.
For pre-existing contracts with a term of less than 3 years, if the contract is due to end before 30 May 2017, their appointment may also continue until this date to allow owners corporations and strata managers time to prepare for the next appointment or reappointment of a strata managing agent
Q: Do owners need to review their strata scheme’s by-laws?
Yes, owners must review the by-laws of their strata scheme by 30 November 2017. Owners should consider which updates would best suit their lifestyles and can use the model by-laws as a guide. Any changes require a special resolution vote at a meeting of the owners corporation and must also be registered with the NSW Office of the Registrar General.
For more information on by-laws, read the By-laws in your strata scheme page.
A strata by-law cannot be harsh, unconscionable or oppressive, so a new by-law could not ban existing pets. However, a new by-law passed could ban any future pets from being allowed in the strata scheme. This would require at least 75% of the owners at a general meeting to agree to the updated by-law.
A strata scheme cannot ban assistance animals.
An owners corporation does not need to formally approve an owner phoning in to a meeting. However voting methods, other than voting in person, must first be approved. This requires a majority vote of the owners at a general meeting. Find out more about alternative ways to vote.
Tenants can attend owners corporation meetings as an observer if they are on the strata roll. However, tenants may be excluded when certain matters are being discussed, such as financial matters.
Landlords (or their property manager) must provide the owners corporation with a tenancy notice that contains the tenants’ details within 14 days of the lease commencing. This allows the secretary to keep the strata roll up-to-date. It is an offence for a landlord to fail to lodge the tenancy notice with the owners corporation.
The new strata laws recognise the important part that tenants can play in a strata scheme. If tenants occupy at least half the lots in a strata scheme, they can nominate a tenant representative on the strata committee. The tenant representative is able to raise issues that concern tenants at the strata committee meetings. However, a tenant representative is not able to vote, and also cannot make up a quorum for the meeting.
The tenant representative is selected by eligible tenants (tenants on the strata roll) at a meeting of those tenants.
Find out more about tenant participation in strata.