Changes to the “Postal Rule”

The “postal” rule which used to provide that a document served by post was deemed served on the fourth (4th) working day, has been amended to now provide that a document is deemed served on the seventh (7th) working day after the day of postage.

This amendment was effected by Schedule 1.18 of the Justice Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) 2018 (NSW) which amends section 76(1)(b) of the Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW) (“IA”) and was assented to on 28th November 2018.

How does this affect strata?

Under the Strata Schemes Management Act, 2015 (NSW), the notice period for a general meeting (other than the first) is seven (7) days.  In addition to this seven (7) day period, allowance must also be made for the postal rule, which is a further seven (7) day period. The day of postage cannot be included nor can the day of the meeting itself (Section 36 of the IA) – in other words, those days must be left clear and not be counted in either the postal or strata period. The seven (7) day postal rule is for seven (7) working days – working days are not public holidays, bank holidays in the state to which the agenda applies, Saturdays or Sundays.

How does this affect community title?

Under the Community Lands Management Act, 1989 (NSW), the notice period for a general meeting is longer than that for strata.

Generally, if a community scheme includes a precinct scheme, at least twenty-one (21) days notice of meeting must be given, and if there is no precinct scheme, at least fourteen (14) days must be given. In addition to these community notice periods, a further seven (7) clear working days must be given to comply with the new postal rule. As with strata, neither the day of postage nor the day of the general meeting may be counted.

Please note that this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional legal advice.