Focusing on collective strata sales and pet ownership, this month the NSW State Government has introduced legislation into Parliament that is intended to enhance the transparency and fairness of strata living.
“Across government we’re working to get more homes built, but we’re also making sure we’ve got the right systems and laws to manage them,” said Anoulack Chanthivong, Minister for Fair Trading and Better Regulation.
“There are currently over 85,000 strata schemes in NSW compared to just 50,000 in 1996, so getting this right will be critical.”
The Government want to make the strata collective sale and renewal process more transparent by forcing owners to declare any conflicts of interest and allowing courts to award costs against those that act unreasonably.
Collective sales, which were enacted in 2016 to help boost housing supply and property renewal, require 75 per cent of owners to agree to sell the property to a developer. However those in the minority can take their position to court triggering legal fees that until now could be incurred by the ownership corporation.
This legislation will help to alleviate lengthy delays and additional substantial costs in selling properties due to the court process.
“We are now seeing safeguards that were intended to support owners in renewing their strata schemes being used against them,” said Jihad Dib, Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government.
“This reform will help restore balance, improve transparency and boost protections for owners in the collective sale and redevelopment process.”
Also on the Government’s agenda is pet ownership. They want to make it easier and fairer for residents to keep pets by prohibiting fees, bonds or insurance as a condition of having a pet.
Currently owners corporation can’t prevent residents from keeping a pet unless the pet causes “unreasonable interference”, and the pet can’t disturb other residents in the scheme. Pet owners usually need to notify the owners corporation in writing of their intentions to keep a pet in advance. Tenants also need permission from the landlord to keep the pet.
In some instances, pet owners are also being charged a fee, bond or insurance to keep the pet – a practice that will be illegal once the legislation is passed.
There may be specific by-laws for individual schemes in relation to pet ownership that may cover monitoring your pet when on common property or keeping your animal within your property.
If you have any questions about collective sales or pet ownership, please contact your Strata Manager at Netstrata.
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