November 30 is the big day so it’s an early Christmas present for some apartment residents – although some of the “gifts” may be less than gratefully received.
Among more than 90 changes to strata legislation, the most controversial means that 75 per cent of owners in apartment blocks will be able to sell the entire building to developers. However, strata residents will have to wait until July 2017 to see the 2% building defects bond to pay for defects that may be uncovered in the first two years of a strata apartment building's life.
A spokesman for Better Regulation and Innovation Minister Victor Dominello said these were once-in-a-generation changes. Photo: Anthony Johnson
The new Strata Management Act provides model bylaws which will include a default option that allows pets unless they are excluded, rather than excludes pets unless they are allowed – a subtle but significant change. Generally only applicable to new buildings if the model by-laws are selected, these new bylaws would have to be adopted by existing strata schemes to have any effect there.
Under other changes, owners corporations will be able to invite local council parking inspector into their car parks.
Cigarette smoke will, for the first time, be defined as a “nuisance”, meaning that even people who smoke only inside their own units can be ordered to stop if it affects other residents.
Proxy farming will be a thing of the past with limits on the number of proxy votes any one person can hold, replaced by electronic voting, meeting “attendance” by Skype or via the phone and online debate and decision-making.
Strata professionals who are not owners will not be allowed to join executive committees
Strata managers will be required to disclose commissions they receive from insurers.
Tenants in bukilding with more than 50% of registered renters will be able to elect a tenants’ rep to the executive committee, although they won’t be able to vote and can be excluded from discussions of a sensitive or financial nature.
Minor alterations to apartments that don’t affect common property will be allowed by default and owners corporations will be able to set occupancy limits on apartments.