What the Strata Title Law Reforms mean for tenants

3.12.13The recent Strata Title Reforms have big changes planned for both property investors and tenants alike. Coming about in response to matters raised by the community, there were over 600 law changes proposed. While these suggestions have had a major part in developing the reforms, what do they mean exactly for tenants?

The basic outline of the reform has a few key points, mostly focused on improving relationships within the community and rectifying building faults faster. Other changes include placing an emphasis on modern technology (in order to be future orientated), provide protection for individuals from unfair practices and empower communities to make their own democratic decisions.

As every strata scheme is different in terms of factors such as size and complexity, the reforms account for diversity. According to the reform document released by the NSW government, communities have called for the laws to do more to raise awareness of both communication and rights and responsibilities. Participation is another factor here, as strata schemes function more efficiently when both owners and residents take an interest in the running of the scheme.

The challenge faced, according to the document, is getting tenants involved in meetings and committees. The paper goes on to say that this is particularly a problem in schemes where the majority of residents are tenants.

A way around the involvement issue is introducing secret ballots, the reforms suggested. This way, tenants are able to voice their opinion without actually taking ownership of it. There are two sides to this though, as people might voice unnecessary issues if they’re not required to put their name on an opinion.

While there are many other changes centered around the strata reform, the biggest developments are focused on the communication between tenants and owners, as well as getting those people to collaborate on issues together. The reforms should go a long way toward improving the efficiency of strata schemes.

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