“Since the commencement of amendments to the Strata Schemes Management Act in November 2016, tenants have had the right to be given notice of and attend Owners’ Corporation meetings,” Nicole Unger, REINSW General Counsel, said.
The matters to be included in capital works fund plans need to be clarified and the annual savings needed to fund anticipated expenditure should be set out.
In the face of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many strata schemes were left in a position where they were unable to function because they had not passed an ordinary resolution authorising electronic meetings and voting.
Strata management is extremely complex and regulating the sector is beyond the capacity and capability of NSW Fair Trading. This is one of the reasons why REINSW is calling for the appointment of a dedicated Property Services Commissioner.
The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) should be amended to reference accessibility and provide guidance to Strata Committees when dealing with modification requests for disability access.
The personal details of lot owners should not be widely available for the purposes of inspections of the strata roll and other records, or via the Strata Portal.
A strata scheme should be required to be professionally managed where it has more than four lots or the Owners’ Corporation is managing a budget of more than $150,000.
Office holders and members of the Strata Committee should be required to comply with a mandatory Code of Conduct and an information pack should be provided to help them understand their roles and responsibilities.
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REINSW has been working with Government on improving electrical safety in all NSW properties due to overall concerns of statistics of electrical fires within NSW households.
The provisions allowing electronic convening and voting at meetings, introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, should be made permanent and not repealed on 13 May 2021.
Clause 14 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 (NSW) should be amended to make it clear that pre-meeting electronic voting does not extend to elections.
Interest-free 10-year loans have been welcomed to fast-track the removal of high-risk combustible cladding from apartment buildings across NSW.
The provisions regarding the quorum at a meeting need to be redrafted, so that it is clear, particularly in the case of small strata schemes, what happens if there’s not a quorum.
Further guidance needs to be provided regarding the need to include an item on the Annual General Meeting agenda to consider building defects and rectification where warranty periods under the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) apply.
The legislation should be amended to allow for the better maintenance of strata records, including electronic storage and back-up, as well as a requirement to maintain an overall index of records.
The requirement for an Owners’ Corporation to obtain a building insurance valuation every five years should be reintroduced and amendments made to remove reinstatement from the valuation exercise.
The legislation needs to clarify who is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of window safety devices and address the many practical issues that are currently causing confusion.
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