This Q&A is about change of ownership and what happens to lot ownership in NSW when the owner dies.
Question: An owner of a lot in our complex passed away 2 months ago. A family member is now residing in the deceased owner’s lot. What happens about the issue of notification and disclosure to the owners corporation?
The owner of a lot in our strata scheme of two units passed away a couple of months ago. A family member is now residing in the deceased lot owners lot.
Neither the son that is now living there nor the other son which visits each week has given any notice to the owners corporation of any change of ownership.
What are the rules and timelines around the issue of notification and disclosure to the owners corporation?
Answer: Legislation does not comprehensively deal with a deceased’s lot in a strata scheme.
In NSW, generally-speaking, the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA) regulates the day-to-day functioning of a strata scheme whereas the Succession Act 2006 and Probate and Administration Act 1898 deal with the management of a deceased person’s estate. Unfortunately, these pieces of legislation do not comprehensively deal with a deceased’s lot in a strata scheme.
With respect to your specific question, there is an obligation for an owner who acquires a lot in a scheme to give notice to the owners corporation of such interest (section 22(1) of the SSMA), however, there is no time limit imposed. Importantly, a person is considered to have acquired an interest once the lot is transferred into their name.
The only real check in the SSMA is that, without a notice being given, the person cannot cast a vote at a meeting of the owners corporation. This may be all the incentive required for the son residing in the deceased owner’s lot to make arrangements to transfer the lot into his name.
Of course, each situation is different, so if you wish to discuss further, please don’t hesitate to give the team at Bannermans Lawyers a call on (02) 9929 0226.
T: 02 9929 0226
Suite 702, 2 Elizabeth Plaza
North Sydney NSW 2060
This post appears in Strata News #406.
This recent NCAT Case is relevant: Wang v MacDermott  NSWCATAP 75.
Have a question about change of ownership or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
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The information contained in this article is general information only and not legal advice. The currency, accuracy and completeness of this article (and its contents) should be checked by obtaining independent legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon its contents in any way.
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