The most significant strata law reform packages ever delivered of a government of this country have been delivered safely through both houses of the NSW parliament.
To be named the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 and the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, the twin laws came in at 117 and 141 pages respectively and contain 90 new features. The laws are expected to become operative on 1 July 2016.
One twin will become the bad twin and the other the good twin. ‘Development’ will be the black knight, ‘Management’ will be the white knight.
Development introduces the concept of the forced sale of real property upon a 75% resolution of owners and will be misunderstood. The forced sale provisions will scare people initially although in reality it’s not nearly as scary as it looks. In the detail there is quite a lot of consumer protection.
The more endearing of the twins, ‘Management’, will make life easier for many. Online voting, simplified renovation approval processes and kinder by-laws will make living and investing in strata easier and more pleasant. Management will have however pack a solid punch when developers and strata managers abuse owners with improper disclosure and conflicts of interest.
Like all newborns, there will be sleepless nights and teething problems but both bills are expected to mature into productive and useful members of society.
Let’s hope everyone plays nicely in the meantime.