Understanding strata property cladding legislation in your state

Each state has its own requirements around combustible cladding, so it’s essential to understand the strata property cladding legislation applicable to you

Understanding your state’s strata property cladding legislation and programs is of utmost importance for safety and compliance. Knowing how to navigate cladding requirements can also help you to finance any cladding rectification works.Laws, policies and programs relating to combustible cladding and non-compliant building materials are evolving every day, as governments take steps to regulate the industry and provide owners with guidance and financial support. In this article, we explain the strata property cladding legislation in your state, as well as relevant cladding rectification programs:

  1. Project Remediate in New South Wales
  2. Queensland’s Safer Buildings program
  3. Victoria’s Cladding Rectification Program

Project Remediate in New South Wales

As of August 2018, the use of aluminium composite panels with a core comprised of more than 30 per cent polyethylene by mass is illegal in New South Wales due to strata property cladding legislation updates.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2018 mandates combustible cladding registration via the NSW Cladding Registration Portal.
Buildings with non-compliant cladding are known as “affected buildings”. They may be issued an “affected building notice” containing advice on further actions that need to be taken, such as removal or rectification.

Registration deadlines:

  • Buildings occupied before 22 October 2018: 22 February 2019
  • New buildings built after 22 October 2018: within four months of the first occupation.

The NSW government has pledged $1 billion in funding to provide building owners with interest-free loans to finance their combustible cladding rectification works. The NSW Cladding Taskforce will contact eligible building owners corporations to invite them to participate in the scheme, with applications now open. If you think your building may have combustible cladding, we recommend referring to strata property cladding legislation and having your building examined as soon as possible.

2. Queensland’s Safer Building Program

In October 2018, the Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 came into effect to establish the Safer Buildings program.

This cladding legislation and the associated government program helps the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), bodies corporate, and owners identify and rectify non-compliant combustible cladding.

The new law made it compulsory for the owners corporation of certain building types to register their building online and to perform a three-part assessment known as the Combustible Cladding Checklist.

To date, new cladding legislation has captured approximately 12,000 Queensland buildings requiring owners corporations to report to the QBCC about the material on the exterior of their building.

The Safer Buildings program is currently at Part 3 of fulfilment.

3. Victoria’s Cladding Rectification Program

With the Building Amendment (Registration of Building Trades and Other Matters) Bill 2018, the Victorian Government banned the use of cladding panels with polyethylene and expanded polystyrene (EPS) cores.

Following the ban, Victoria also passed the Cladding Safety Victoria Bill 2020 to facilitate the $600 million Cladding Rectification Program, which will help improve residential apartment buildings’ safety.

In summary, Victorian cladding legislation has accomplished or initiated the following:

  • Established an organisation (Cladding Safety Victoria) to administer cladding rectification to high-risk buildings across the state
  • Extended the limitation period for cladding building actions from 10 to 12 years, helping owners and governments to pursue liability claims against builders
  • Supported the construction industry through the COVID-19 economic downturn
  • Assigned project managers to high-risk cladding cases to help owners source specialists, outline scope of work and perform rectification works
  • Provided funding for certain high-risk cladding to be removed faster
  • Offered loans (Cladding Rectification Agreements) for owners ineligible for direct funding to finance their rectification works as an alternative to self-funding, owners corporation loans, re-financing or personal loans.

4. Impact on insurance

Having combustible cladding doesn’t automatically disqualify strata properties from an insurance policy or necessarily change your insurance. However, if your building has been identified as having combustible cladding in line with cladding legislation, you must notify your insurer.

They may require risks to be evaluated and safety recommendations to be made by industry specialists, or they may require such assessments as part of the renewal process.

While government systems help guide the process, the responsibility to comply with cladding legislation ultimately lies with owners.
When it comes to managing a strata property, there are various compliance or legislative requirements that are needed to protect owners and residents. 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.