What you need to know about strata property cladding legislation in New South Wales
A $1 billion funding scheme has been introduced to enable owners corporations to remove combustible cladding
In response to the combustible cladding crisis, the New South Wales Government introduced new strata property cladding legislation and regulations to improve safety. The laws, policies and support opportunities change and evolve regularly, so strata committees and owners need to stay informed of these industry changes.Here is everything your need to understand to stay abreast of strata property cladding legislation in New South Wales and your role in the removal of problematic cladding:
- The ban on unsafe building materials
- Regulating combustible cladding
- Which buildings need to be registered
- Funding for cladding rectification
- The NSW combustible cladding assessment guide
- Additional guidance for cladding removal
The ban on unsafe building materials
With the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017, the New South Wales government gained the authority to ban unsafe building products and provide for the rectification of affected buildings. In light of this strata property cladding legislation, the New South Wales Government issued a ban on using aluminium composite panels (ACPs) with a core comprised of more than 30 per cent polyethylene by mass in 2018.
This building material was previously frequently used for external cladding on multi-owned residences.
Buildings that already have non-compliant cladding installed are known as “affected buildings” and may be issued an “affected building notice”. Following this notice, authorities such as Fire and Rescue New South Wales and local councils may advise owners if any further actions are necessary.
Regulating combustible cladding
Current strata property cladding legislation and regulations require owners of certain buildings to register their building with the NSW Cladding Registration portal.
Buildings occupied before 22 October 2018 had to be registered by 22 February 2019. Buildings built after 22 October 2018 must be registered within four months of the building’s first occupation.
The State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Exempt Development – Cladding and Decorative Work) 2018 further limits the use of combustible cladding.
Which buildings need to be registered
Under strata property cladding legislation in New South Wales, both new and existing buildings of two storeys or more must be registered, including the following building types:
- Residential apartment buildings
- Other residential buildings where people sleep, such as hotels, boarding houses and backpackers and student accommodation
- Aged-care buildings, hospitals and day surgeries, including associated single dwellings within the building
- Public assembly buildings such as theatres, cinemas, schools and churches, including associated single dwellings within the building.
4. Which types of cladding need to be registered
Buildings with external combustible cladding made from the following materials must be registered, as per strata property cladding legislation in New South Wales:
- Metal composite panels, including products that consist of aluminium, zinc or copper outer layers and a core material
- Insulated cladding systems, including systems with polystyrene, polyurethane and polyisocyanurate.
Funding for cladding rectification
In 2020, the NSW government pledged $1 billion in funding to support owners corporation rectify their combustible cladding. The three-year program is expected to assist in cladding removal from an estimated 225 buildings.
This scheme, called Project Remediate, gives owners of multi-unit residential buildings access to interest-free loans to help fast-track cladding removal and mitigate owner out-of-pocket expenses.
The NSW Cladding Taskforce will contact building owners and owners corporations who are eligible under strata property cladding legislation to invite them to participate in the scheme.
The NSW combustible cladding assessment guide
The NSW Government has created the Guide for the Assessment of Buildings with Combustible Cladding: Matters for Consideration, a comprehensive document containing useful information on assessing and managing your cladding. While the guide was produced for authorities such as councils, it is also helpful for owners corporations who want to better understand strata property cladding legislation in New South Wales and its ramifications.
Additional guidance for cladding removal
In August 2020, the Cladding Product Safety Panel was established to help owners remove and replace high-risk non-compliant cladding. The panel will test for and identify safe ways to remove and replace high-risk cladding. The panel will then advise the community on how to undertake cladding rectification works and which specific products can be used as substitutes, in line with current strata property cladding legislation. It will also give owners confidence insurers will accept their new cladding without conditionality.When it comes to managing a strata property, there are various compliance or legislative requirements that are needed to protect owners and residents. Also, when the situation allows, you don’t want to miss out on the chance of an insurance claim. Click here to learn more about Community Health & Safety and related services to ensure your protection. You can also download our FREE Community Living guide series on defects here. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, click here for a free assessment.