Thursday, May 26, 2022

Government Backs Major Strata Overhaul in WA

The new McGowan Labour Government in Western Australia is progressing the drafting of legislation to reform strata laws in Western Australia.

The Honourable Rita Saffioti, Minister for Transport, Planning, and Lands, has announced that Cabinet supports the drafting of the strata reforms legislation package.

WA Strata fast facts:

  • WA has more than 300,000 strata lots;
  • Strata property in WA is currently valued at more than $170 billion and growing;
  • The average sale price for a strata lot is more than $500,000;
  • The trend for community living is growing with 40-50% of current land subdivision strata development;
  • Annual sales of strata lots in WA is at $10.9 billion;
  • There are more than 67,000 strata schemes; and
  • No major reforms to the Strata Titles Act 1985 in 20 years.

The reforms will fix current problems experienced by strata owners through better dispute resolution, improved management of schemes, regulation of strata managers and safeguards for the termination of schemes.

The legislation will enable new forms of strata which will lead to sustainable and vibrant local communities where people can live, work and play in METROHUB precincts close to METRONETtransport.

Minister Saffioti, said, “These reforms also allow for shared community facilities like pools and sustainability infrastructure such as solar panels to be managed more efficiently. By providing new strata development options, these reforms will help create vibrant communities close to public transport, infrastructure, facilities and workplaces.”

The move is the first major shake-up of strata legislation in 20 years and comes after significant growth in strata living across the State.

There is a need for more housing to cater for the predicted population increase including more innovative housing options, while also meeting urban infill targets. Strata is important to the WA economy; there are more than 300,000 strata lots, which are conservatively estimated as being worth $170 billion. This number is increasing, with 40 to 50 per cent of all new lots created being strata. Annual sales of strata lots exceed $10.9 billion.

The announcement has been widely supported by industry bodies.

The Housing Industry Association has supported the Government’s move to review current Strata Titles legislation. “Strata reform will enable greater housing choice throughout Perth’s suburbs” said John Gelavis, HIA Executive Director, Western Australia.

With affordability, sustainability and greater densities high on the agenda for both government and the community, these strata reforms are essential to delivering these outcomes. Allison Hailes, Chief Executive Officer, Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA)

Most of us know someone who has had a bad experience in a strata property due to a dispute, whether it be noise, parking, or incorrect use of common areas. In community living, there will also be disputes from time to time and it’s therefore imperative that these disputes can be addressed and resolved in a practical manner, which is not currently the case. The proposed reforms are set to address this, said Scott Bellerby, President, Strata Community Australia (WA)

Urban areas everywhere are becoming more complex and mixed in character, so titling laws need to evolve to reflect this, said John Wynne, National Planning Director, Urbis

Strata owners will benefit from the regulation of strata managers, better buyer information and being able to quickly and easily resolve strata disputes through the State Administrative Tribunal. The reforms will also introduce safeguards for the termination of schemes.

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