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Strata and Property Services Reform

01 Dec 2023

The NSW Government has recently been taking decisive steps to enact significant reforms in strata laws, with the objective of fostering fairness and transparency in community living arrangements, such as apartment buildings and townhouses. In a notable move, John Minns will now assume additional responsibilities as the state’s Strata and Property Services Commissioner, signalling a renewed focus on strata living.
Despite a decade of approximately 1,000 new strata schemes being registered annually, it’s been reported that the previous government did not act on the recommendations outlined in the 2021 Report on the statutory review of strata laws. To address this gap, the government is set to implement a comprehensive first phase of reforms aimed at providing immediate benefits to individuals residing in strata.
The NSW Government is initiating the first phase of strata reforms to provide immediate benefits to residents. The proposed legislation includes:

  • Measures to enhance transparency in the strata collective sale and renewal process by mandating owners to disclose conflicts of interest and allowing courts to award costs against unreasonable actions. 
  • Additionally, the reforms aim to make pet ownership more accessible and equitable by prohibiting fees, bonds, or insurance requirements. 
  • To ensure competitive pricing, owners corporations will be required to seek a second opinion for bills exceeding $30,000. 
  • Fair Trading will be empowered to request the appointment of a compulsory strata managing agent through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for dysfunctional strata schemes, extending the authority beyond owners and creditors. 

These changes aim to address the existing loopholes and improve the overall governance of strata living.