What the Strata Title Law Reform means for property investors

4.11.13With more than 72,000 strata schemes in New South Wales totaling to $350 billion in assets, strata title law reforms can have a massive impact on property investors. The new strata laws set to go through parliament in 2014 include a comprehensive set of reforms that will have significant impacts.

According to the Strata Title Law Reform Position Paper released by the NSW government, the reforms are designed to empower communities to make their own decisions in a diplomatic way as well as reduce red tape and simplify permissions. The reforms come off of more than 1,200 comments and 600 suggested law changes from the community in an online discussion held by Global Access Partners (GAP).

One of the changes involves greater owner participation. The reforms encourage owners to take notices of meetings with key financial information and proposed resolution notes. They are then able to give these notices electronically, in order to make it easier on investors who don’t feel the need to travel but still want to be involved.

A building defects inspector will now be able to be instituted by the property developer and owners corporation in order to rectify building defects such as water leaks and structural defects. The defects inspector will prepare a report between 12 and 18 months after the occupation certificate has been issued. This time frame allows the inspector to determine whether defects are the result of new building work or improper maintenance.

Renovation rules will also change. Currently any work done to walls, ceilings, doors and windows requires owner corporation permission. To make things easier, the strata reforms will allow owners to make cosmetic changes to common property without approval, but authorisation is still needed for more major changes to common and individual lots.

These are just a few of the strata reforms, but are no doubt welcome changes for property investors.

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