New South Wales strata legislation
The need to professionalise strata or building management through more flexibility, efficiencies, accountability and alignment with modern technology is finally being put to action with the announcement of a new Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 which came into effect from
30 November 2016.
For more information on the recent changes to the New South Wales strata legislation, download our FREE e-book!
What does the new legislation entail?
At a high level, most of the changes are around making Annual General Meetings and committee meetings more inclusive, providing role clarity, introducing a consistency of terminology and ensuring improved owner protection.
In order to make it easier to digest some of the legal and more complex changes, we created a series of communications:
NSW legislation update #1
NSW legislation update #2
NSW legislation update #3
NSW legislation update #4
NSW legislation update #5
NSW legislation update #6
New South Wales legislation information session
For changes more specific to your property’s requirements, we would encourage your owners corporation to conduct a by-law review. If you have further questions or in need of advice, please email your strata manager with your property and contact details.
August 15 2018: Aluminium composite panel ban
Some types of cladding made from aluminium composite panels (ACPs) were banned across the state in certain buildings. ACP with a core comprised of more than 30 per cent polyethylene has been banned for use on rendered finish in buildings, external cladding, external wall, external insulation and facade.
1 September 2018: New South Wales updates its swimming pool regulations
Legislation commences around Swimming Pools Regulations 2018 for property owners, builders and strata committees overseeing shared property amenities. These changes highlight the need for instating safety checks and building barriers around pools in compliance with the Building Code of Australia.
11 October 2018: New plumbing and drainage legislation
The government has made changes to the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011 and the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2017. Before starting any plumbing or drainage work, a Notice of Work needs to be submitted. The Certificate of Compliance as well as the Sewer Service Diagram needs to be provided after the work is completed, to the regulators and inspectors.
22 October 2018: Ban on combustible cladding and cladding audit
The state government introduced new laws on external combustible cladding: Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2018 and State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Exempt Development – Cladding and Decorative Work) 2018. Under the laws buildings need to comply with the combustible cladding ban. Building occupied after 22 October 2018 must register their information online about their building ownership and type of cladding material being used, within four months of first occupation. All buildings occupied before 22 October 2018 must complete online registration by 22 February 2019. A statewide cladding audit found: 1400 buildings have cladding with 600 of those classified as high risk.
28 November 2018: Increased time-frame for notice delivery by post
An amendment to section 76 (1) (b) of the Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW) states that committee members now need to take into account a seven working day notice period, instead of four working days as previously, between the time the notice is sent and the date of the meeting. More information is available at the government website for New South Wales legislation.
22 February 2019: : Deadline registration of building
Under regulation, owners of certain buildings with external combustible cladding are required to register their building with the state government through a cladding registration portal. Owners of buildings occupied by 22 October 2018 are required to register the building by 22 February 2019.
28 February 2019: Amendments made to residential tenancy laws for protecting the rights of domestic violence victims
Effective from 28 February 2019, the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Bill 2018 requires landlords to maintain minimum habitable standards for their rented property and establish reasonable rent control for tenants who are domestic violence victims. While maintaining records, addressing disputes and assessing damage of rented property as a result of domestic violence, landlords must prioritise the privacy of victimised tenants and ensure sensitivity while handling their cases.
27 March 2019: Safety warning on open-flued gas space heaters
If your apartment has an open-flued gas space heater, take care to check the brand for safety and compliance. New South Wales Fair Trading has identified four heater models that may be unsafe to use in your strata property. Before you use the heaters, make sure to check if they have been registered with the supplier for testing and any required modifications are done by a licensed gas fitter.
In its investigation named ‘Operation Switch’, New South Wales Fair Trading revealed that there is a need for high levels of compliance across the residential building sector in the state. Electricians and workers must hold a licence before they can be engaged by the committee for any electrical work in the strata property.
The state government introduced reforms to the Retirement Villages Regulation 2017 to empower retirement villages. The proposed rules describe how operators should behave and also outline practices and processes for the effective functioning of a retirement village. Operators are required to follow these rules and may be penalised for non-compliance. If this affects your strata property and quality of community living, you may share feedback on the proposed amendments latest by 7 June 2019.
In a recent update to the building bond and inspections scheme, New South Wales Fair Trading details the eight-stage process and the duration of the scheme as a total of three years. Stage one of the process requires developers to carry out the building bond lodgement through an online portal.
1 July 2019: New retirement village laws commence
The New South Wales government implements new laws to improve living in retirement village communities, providing residents with added security and power. The new laws include mandatory rules of conduct relating to conduct and behaviour of operators, new emergency management requirements, a contract check-up meeting between resident and operator and approval rights for residents over the appointment of the village’s accounts auditor.
14 August 2019: New South Wales Building Commissioner appointed
David Chandler appointed as New South Wales Building Commissioner. The regulator will overlook the construction industry and ensure reforms are implemented.
5 December 2019: Community schemes law reform
The NSW Government is seeking public feedback on the drafting of the Community Land Management Bill 2019 and the Community Land Development Bill 2019. Public consultation is open until 28 February and the table of reforms can be found here.