Strata Plans

NEW STRATA LEGISLATION (EFFECTIVE 30 NOVEMBER 2016) 

The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 commenced on 30 November 2016 which enacted new regulations regarding By-Laws. All Strata Schemes should have reviewed their By-Laws before 1 December 2017. Schemes prior to 1 July 1997 were required to initially adopt the new model By-Laws. However, they can be subject to changes via a Special Resolution in a general meeting of the Owners Corporation. Strata Schemes commencing between 1 July 1997 and 30 November 2016 are not required to adopt the new model By-Laws. Owners’ corporations can choose to adopt the sample model by-laws or make changes to them to manage issues in strata like overcrowding, pets, parking, and smoke drift. Schemes are not required to adopt or adapt any of the model by-laws, they are available to assist schemes in reviewing and making by-laws to suit their scheme. Model by-laws need to be approved by the owners’ corporation and registered with NSW Land Registry Services They can cover issues such as whether pets are allowed on the scheme, how smoking is regulated, parking and noise levels. It is important to understand which by-laws apply to your scheme. Owners’ corporations can determine the by-laws that suit the preferred lifestyle of the strata scheme. A by-law must not be harsh, un-conscionable or oppressive. No by-law is capable of restricting a dealing in a lot, except, from 10 April 2020, in relation to using a lot for short-term rental where it is not the host’s principal place of residence. By-laws cannot restrict children or assistance animals. The owners’ corporation must decide by special resolution at a general meeting to make or change a by-law. This means no more than 25 percent of votes can go against the motion. Notification of any new or changed by-law must be given to NSW Land Registry Services. A by law has no force or effect if it is inconsistent with the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, or any other laws. 

 

Cladding Compliance

New laws have been made for buildings with combustible cladding. The laws are part of a whole-of-government response to the fire safety risks posed by external combustible cladding. Under the Regulation, owners of certain buildings with external combustible cladding are required to register their building with the NSW Government. For buildings occupied before 22 October 2018, the deadline for registration is 22 February 2019. Owners of new buildings will be required to register their building within four months of the building first being occupied. The presence of non-fire-compliant cladding is a serious issue (both from a personal safety and lending criteria). If cladding is not fire compliant, the builder and or the developer may not be liable or financially able to replace it with compliant cladding and a special levy may need to be raised. We recommend you make further investigations and seek confirmation in writing of the fire compliance status of any cladding on the façade of any complex through the strata managers. If the cladding is not fire compliant, you should also ask to see any related reports by engineers and a copy of the notification to the NSW Cladding Register of its non-compliance. This will help you understand the extent of non-compliance. 

One Central Park cladding disaster

APS undertake comprehensive common area building defect reports both for new strata plans, within their ‘defects liability periods’ or before Home Warranty Insurance expiration and for aged multi unit buildings, which the Strata Schemes Act and now mandatory require to have 10 year maintenance programs in place visit Strata Living.

We provide fee estimates for common area building defect reports upon request.

APS are industry leading specialists for off-the-plan new unit final building defects survey reports and consider they provide some of the most comprehensive and thorough reports currently available, together with sound advice about pre-inspection report action and purchase contract implications, which can be very draconian. APS worked with award winning SMH journalist Gerald Ryle to expose defective building practices, which led to a series of major stories and subsequently a Government inquiry. Bond yourself with your client and SMH Article.

We have completed thousands of reports for individual owners and vendors and if necessary can refer our clients to other specialist consultants such as fire and mechanical engineers and if needs be construction litigation lawyers who specialise in off-the plan purchase contracts.

New Off-The-Plan Unit Building Defect Survey Report costs start at $950 (excl GST).
OFT buying off-the-plan

Some of the buildings APS have inspected for Owners Corporation’s are:
Shore Apartments Walsh Bay, Republic 2, The Altair- Kings – Cross, The Mondrian – Alexandria, Colgate Palmolive – Balmain, Cape Cabarita – Breakfast Pt, The Regis Towers – Sydney, Top Of The Town – Darlinghurst Sample Common Area maintenance report.

APS have considerable experience with Strata Plans and recognising that there is often little and conflicting information available to Owners Corporations regarding complex strata laws and issues, we have written specialist Strata Scheme Advisory notes, which are available at a small cost to consumers and are considered quite valuable (Advisory Notes)

SMH Domain journalist Jimmy Thomson has written a number of valuable articles on specific strata related questions visit Jimmy Thomson

Fair Trading Strata Publications

Author of ‘Your Home buying selling renovating building’ (consumer book)

Publishers Allen & Unwin.

Author of ‘Your Home buying selling renovating building’ (consumer book)

Publishers Allen & Unwin.

Strata report examples

Common Area Maintenance Report Sample No 3

External Common Area Report Defects Report No 2

Internal Common Area Defects Report No 1

Off The Plan Defects Report 1

Off The Plan Defects Report 2

Sample Common Area Building Defects Survey Report 1