Strata

Recent changes to the laws relating to how documents must be served and when they are taken to have been served, indicate that owners corporations and their strata committees and strata managing agents need to urgently review their records relating to current activity, to ensure that where notices are required, they have given sufficient notice.

 

The rapid changes to strata management under COVID-19 have left owners corporations and strata managers alike with many operational questions.

To assist you to navigate this challenging time, we have prepared some answers, solutions and tools to assist with FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS arising from Covid-19 in respect of the following areas:

This will depend on the circumstances.

 

On 1 July 2020, the Design and Building Practitioners - Particulars for Regulated Designs Order 2021 (Regulated Designs Order) came into effect. Under section 5(3) of the Design and Building Practitioner Act 2020 (NSW) (DBPA), the Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, specify particulars that are additional to those prescribed by the regulations for regulated designs or regulated designs belonging to a particular class.

A “fixture” refers to objects that are attached to the land in such a manner that they become part of the land. Once an object becomes a part of the property, it belongs to the property owner. But how does the concept of fixture and ownership play out in context of strata scheme buildings?

 

The Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Amendment (Building Work Levy) Regulation 2022 has been notified on the NSW Legislation Website and is due to commence on 4 July 2022.

  • Over the past few months NSW has experienced widespread and heavy rainfall. This has resulted in increased and prevalent claims against owners corporations, however the recent weather events and delays in construction is no defence to a breach of s106 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) (SSMA) or a nuisance claim.

A common source of frustration for owners corporations trying to ensure good building management is the long-term building management agreement negotiated by the developer and inherited by the owners corporation. Frequently, this involved sale of building management rights, with little if any regard to the owners corporation's needs and best interests. However, a recent case suggests that the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal may be able and willing to terminate such agreements and that an owners corporation stuck with one should consider taking legal advice to assess whether that is an option for them.

As a result of recent heavy rainfall, many lot owners have suffered significant water ingress/penetration issues and consequential water damage within their lots. These include, but are not limited to:

Buying a strata unit “off the plan”, before it has been built, has long been common.

 

As compared with buying an existing property, there are many potential benefits, e.g. good pricing offered by developers needing to satisfy finance requirements, potential capital gain during the period between signing the contract and settlement, possible government first home buyer assistance, flexibility regarding floor plan and inclusions and more time to arrange your affairs before moving.

Most people may already know that an owners corporation has a strict duty to repair and maintain the common property of a strata scheme. But do they know that if the owners corporation fails to fulfil its strict duty of repair and maintenance that they have a right to claim damages (compensation) in the sum of tens of thousands of dollars for its breach of such statutory obligation?