This article is about the new NSW strata legislation for 2021.
Table of Contents:
- UPDATE: Changes to strata laws have also started
- UPDATE: New Strata Legislation Will Soon Become Law
Changes to strata laws have also started
A recent update from Fair Trading NSW explains a number of changes that help clarify parts of the strata law started on 24 February 2021:
- Secret ballots must not be disclosed as part of an inspection of a strata scheme’s records, unless ordered by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) or a court.
- Providing the by-laws to tenants: strata laws are now consistent with residential tenancies laws to clarify that a landlord must provide the strata scheme’s by-laws to a tenant before entering into a lease.
- Proxies are still valid for adjourned meetings: a proxy that is appointed for a meeting that is adjourned is still valid for the reconvened meeting.
- Owners of multiple lots can appoint a single proxy: a person who owns more than one lot in a scheme may appoint a single proxy to vote on behalf of all their lots.
New Strata Legislation Will Soon Become Law
The Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Sustainability Infrastructure) Bill 2021 is expected to commence in mid-2021.
Overview of New 2021 Strata Laws
The key features of the Bill are as follows:
- An owners corporation will be able to authorise the installation of sustainability infrastructure (such as solar panels) on common property by passing an ordinary resolution.
- Any decision by an owners corporation that would unreasonably prohibit the keeping of an animal on a lot will have no force or effect.
- It will be possible for a by-law to prohibit the keeping of an animal (such as a dangerous dog) on a lot if that prohibition is reasonable.
- An owners corporation will need to keep voting records regarding a secret ballot confidential unless directed to make those records available for inspection by a court or NCAT.
- NCAT will need to provide a copy of any strata application that is lodged by any person to the owners corporation of the strata scheme concerned.
- An owners corporation will need to serve a copy of any NCAT application it receives on each owner instead of just placing a copy of the application on the noticeboard.
- NCAT will have the power to require a person to pay a penalty of up to $5,500.00 for breaching an order made by NCAT.
- A person who owns more than one lot in a strata scheme will be able to appoint a single proxy in respect of all of the lots (to prevent the limitation on the number of proxies a person can hold stopping this from occurring).
- A proxy appointment form for a meeting will still be valid even if the meeting is adjourned to a later date.
These new laws will make it easier for owners corporations and owners to install solar panels and implement other “green” initiatives, clarify the validity of “no pets” by-laws and close a loophole in the strata legislation that prevented NCAT imposing penalties on people who breach orders.
For all NSW strata legal including by-laws, building defect and levy collection advice contact us here or call 02 9562 1266. We’re happy to assist.
This post appears in Strata News #455.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for your personal information only. It is not meant to be legal or professional advice nor should it be used as a substitute for such advice. You should seek legal advice for your specific circumstances before relying on any information herein. Contact JS Mueller & Co for any required legal assistance.
JS Mueller & Co Lawyers has been servicing the strata industry across metropolitan and regional NSW for over 40 years. We are a specialist firm of strata lawyers with in depth and unmatched experience in, and comprehensive knowledge of strata law and levy collection.
If you have a question about new NSW strata legislation or something to add to the article, please leave a comment below.
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Looking for strata information concerning your state? For state-specific strata information, take a look here.
Are you not sure about some of the strata terms used in this article? Take a look at our NSW Strata Glossary to help with your understanding.