Changes to the NSW strata laws will commence on 30 November, 2016 prior to the commencement of the Building Defects Bond Scheme on 1 July, 2017. Significant changes under the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 include:
- Decisions to renew or terminate a strata scheme will now require only 75% of lot owners to agree. This is intended to allow strata owners to make efficient decisions as the building ages with safeguards included to protect dissenting owners and ensure that ‘just terms compensation’ is offered to lot owners.
- Buildings with over 50% of registered renters will be able to elect a tenants’ representative to attend meetings of the Owners Corporation, however they will not be able to vote and can be prevented from certain discussions of a sensitive or financial nature.
- A developer of a strata scheme, or a person connected with the developer cannot be appointed as the managing agent of the strata scheme for 10 years after the registration of the strata plan.
- Meetings will be more flexible with the Owners Corporation able to elect (by ordinary resolution) to conduct meetings via teleconference and voting may take place electronically.
- The number of proxy votes that one person may hold will be limited to avoid ‘proxy farming’.
There are approximately a further 90 changes that have been made in an attempt to modernise the existing strata laws.