Strata reform recommendations: Reduce red tape and administrative costs

81Property investors and apartment owners in Sydney may be interested by a recent submission made by the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) in relation to the proposed strata reforms.

The REINSW outlined its proposals in a February 13 statement.

It noted that “the government had made some changes in policy direction in response to concerns previously expressed by REINSW”.

However, the key industry body feels that some proposals still need to be addressed, predicating the need to lodge a written submission with the state government.

The submission directly relates to the Strata Schemes Management Draft Bill.

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin announced that the body finds the present Draft Bill “unworkable”.

However, Mr McKibbin has previously acknowledged that “the decision to simplify strata laws is a positive step forward for everyone involved in the real estate industry,” according to the February 13 statement.

This optimism is a good sign for the property industry – including buyers and sellers – as it indicates the reform could reach a happy medium following further changes.

In its submission, the industry body pointed out that “the proposed adoption of the Draft Bill in its current form introduces additional compliance costs which can only result in substantial increases in disputes as well as accompanying increases in administrative costs to strata scheme lot owners”.

The REINSW noted that its understanding of the purpose of the reforms was to reduce the red tape and administrative costs associated with strata schemes.

If changes are implemented that successfully allow for this, it could be a positive shift for strata scheme lot owners.

The reform has been initiated by the NSW government to ensure strata laws “are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible,” according to Fair Trading NSW. The process began at the end of 2011.

The REINSW added that a further purpose of the scheme should be to “simplify the law into plain English.”

This would make buying into strata schemes an even more accessible option for Sydney buyers.

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