Strata reform bill delayed at behest of stakeholders and industry

The-passing-of-the-strata-reform-bill-will-have-to-wait-a-little-bit-longer_157_73711_0_14099482_300The New South Wales government has listened to the people and chosen to delay its strata reform bill, which was supposed to have been passed early this year.

The reform has largely been postponed due to the concerns of stakeholders and industry members. When the strata reform bill was first released last November, stakeholders, industry body Strata Community Australia and the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) all expressed concerns with the way it was handled.

The government will instead propose a long-term plan which combines strata, community title and building sector-wide reforms into a single package.

NSW’s new minister for Fair Trading Matthew Mason-Cox met with key industry figures to discuss the postponement and hammer out a new plan.

“Community title reforms will be accelerated as part of a broader package of reforms relating to multiple occupancy of buildings, strata, security of payments and home warranty insurance connected with the building industry,” Mr Mason-Cox said in a June 17 release from the REINSW.

“These reforms are interrelated and must be viewed collectively as we build on the strong reform foundations and achievements of the last three years.”

While the delay may be disappointing for some, this could be a good thing for both owners and residents of strata buildings in the long term. The reform would have made significant amendments to existing legislation, and the chance to take more time to tinker with and perfect the new provisions may ensure there will be no problems when the changes come into force.

This is particularly important given that strata reform stands to have a major effect on the lives of Sydneysiders. More than half of Sydney’s housing stock will be multi-unit dwellings by 2040, and over one-quarter of the NSW population already live or work in strata or community-title buildings, the REINSW explained. The need to get legislation right is thus essential.

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