7 Changes the proposed NSW Strata Laws are expected to bring

Construction Law GavelWe have written about the Strata Law reforms before, however our friends at Clinch Long Letherbarrow Lawyers have written a great article on the NSW Strata Law Reforms that we wanted to share with you.

The article summarises the key changes the new laws are expected to bring. These include:

  1. By-laws – under the new regulations there will be a new model by-law standard that can be adopted by strata schemes with every scheme being required to review its by-laws within 12 months of the legislation enactment date
  2. Smoke Drift – the new model by-laws are proposing to address smoke drift issues which will allow an owners corporation to apply to the tribunal for orders to deem smoke drift into another lot or common property as a nuisance or hazard;
  3. Pets – current by-laws have confusing rules which allow an owners corporation to have complete final say on pet issues. Under the model by-laws, a single by-law will replace all existing pet issues, which will require any owners to get approval from the owners corporation for keeping a pet. An owners corporation will not be able to unreasonably refuse any request from an owner to keep pets, and an owner will be allowed to dispute at a tribunal if unreasonably refused;
  4. Parking – unlike the present model by-laws, under the new legislation, an owners corporation will be allowed to better manage parking issues on common property by applying to the council for council officers to erect parking signs and issue fines. This will allow the owners corporation to take action against any offending owners;
  5. Collective Sale and Renewal – the new legislation is designed to make it easier for an owners corporation to establish a collective renewal and sale of buildings, allowing for lot owners to be empowered to realise the full potential of their strata building through a democratic and transparent process;
  6. Owners Renovations – Under the new model by-laws, owners will be allowed to make renovations to their lot. Cosmetic renovations (installing a picture hook) will not require approval from the owners corporation as in the current by-law system. Minor renovations (installing timber floors) will only require a 50% general resolution vote. Lastly, renovations affecting the external appearance of a lot will require a 75% special resolution vote; and
  7. Increasing Penalties – under the current laws, the maximum fine for a breach of by-law is $550. This will increase to $1,100.00. Further, if the Tribunal believes that a person has breached a by-law repeatedly, a fine of up to $2,200.00 will be able to be issued by the Tribunal. This will increase the effectiveness of enforcing by-law breaches.

Hit the link for the full article.