Reform of strata laws in NSW


Victor dominello







Minister responsible for Fair Trading Victor Dominello today released two exposure draft bills for final consultation, to reform strata living in NSW.

Mr Dominello thanked the state’s strata community, strata dwellers, academia and industry for working with the government to bring the bills to fruition.

“The over-riding objective for all involved has been to improve strata living, minimise regulatory burden and improve democratic processes. I encourage people to continue to have their say,” Mr Dominello said.

New South Wales introduced its first strata laws in 1961. The original laws, designed for small, simple, self-managed walk-up blocks of flats have been updated over time but are due for reform, to reflect the reality of strata living today.

Over two million people, accounting for almost 25% of Greater Sydney’s population, live in more than 75,000 strata and community schemes across the state, with $350 billion in total assets.

Today, city high rises, townhouses, dual occupancies, offices, retirement villages, mixed use and tourism developments dominate the strata landscape.

“People can now have their final say on the drafting of more than 90 proposed changes to improve strata living including the perennial issues of parking, pets and passive smoking,” Mr Dominello said.

Other areas of reform include renewal, renovations, defects, dispute resolution, and model by-laws.

The draft Strata Schemes Management and Strata Schemes Development Bills are open for feedback until 12 August 2015. Final bills will be introduced to Parliament later this year.

The draft bills are available at Send comments by 12 August 2015.  

What is this about?  

The NSW Government is reforming NSW strata laws. This is the first major reform of strata laws since the Strata Titles Act was made in 1973. Reforms seek to bring strata laws into the 21st century. They will create a modern framework for residents living in strata schemes today.

NSW has around 75,000 strata schemes worth $350 billion in assets. The reforms will affect some 2 million industry professionals, strata owners, and residents in strata-titled townhouses and units.

Based on consultation, more than 90 proposed reforms will update 50-year-old strata scheme laws. Together, they will help to guide strata schemes to best manage their strata community’s needs into the future.

The proposed changes aim to:

  • make it easier for owners corporations to manage issues like pets, parking and by-laws
  • create a new democratic process for collective sale and renewal of strata schemes
  • support the responsible management of schemes with new accountabilities for strata managing agents
  • establish a new process to help ensure building defects are addressed early in the life of the building
  • enable modern forms of communication (including new options for your strata scheme to keep and issue electronic records, issue email updates and attend meetings ”˜virtually’) to allow greater participation in schemes.

What’s happening now?  

The draft Strata Schemes Development Bill 2015 and Strata Schemes Management Bill 2015 have been released for public consultation.  They  outline the Government’s proposed strata law reforms.

Strata owners, industry professionals and other key strata groups are invited to be part of the decision-making process and have their views heard before the Bill is finalised.

To learn more about the proposed reforms, refer to the draft  Strata Schemes Development Bill 2015 (PDF size: 777Kb)  and  Strata Schemes Management Bill 2015 (PDF size:  801Kb)  and comment by  Wednesday 12 August 2015.


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