New South Wales strata industry and legislation updates

Find the latest updates and changes on New South Wales community living impacting strata

The timeline below summarises relevant legislative and industry changes affecting strata stakeholders in New South Wales. It includes helpful links and further reading to help you understand NSW legislative changes.

May 2024

Addressing asbestos concerns

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) investigation of potentially contaminated sites and residential properties

Due to the surge in reported cases of asbestos-contaminated mulch across Sydney, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has commenced a series of inspections on sites and residential properties suspected of being at risk.

Teams from Fire and Rescue NSW, SafeWork, Public Works, and the Natural Resources Access Regulator have been playing an active role in this process. Additionally, the EPA has been cooperating with councils, landowners, contractors, and other agencies to ensure effective and safe remediation of the impacted sites, aiming for their swift reopening to the public.

To help keep the community informed during these ongoing investigations, the EPA provides continuous updates regarding the sites that have tested positive for asbestos and are currently undergoing remediation.

Click here to view the results of sites being inspected for asbestos contamination.


If a residential property was tested positive for asbestos by the EPA:

The EPA will provide support by assigning a licensed asbestos assessor to conduct a thorough site assessment. EPA officers will contact affected properties with detailed information and arrange a site visit and necessary remediation works.


If a residential property was tested negative for asbestos by the EPA:

EPA officers will contact the properties to inform them of their negative test results and assure them of their premises’ safety.


The importance of testing and managing loose-fill asbestos

For properties near areas that have been contaminated with asbestos-tainted mulch, it is beneficial to conduct tests and report and manage any loose-fill asbestos within the property vicinity. This material can pose health risks if left untreated, so understanding the proper testing and management protocols is essential.


To help maintain a safe environment for your community, click here to learn how to test and manage loose-fill asbestos in strata properties.

May 2024

Paving the way for fairer rental laws

Results of survey on proposed reforms now released

With renters making up a third of the state’s population, the government is committed to revising rental laws to support renters and provide owners with clearer guidelines. As part of this initiative, the NSW Government has surveyed tenants, owners, and property managers in NSW to share their views on key topics under consideration for NSW rental law reforms. This feedback will serve as a valuable guide in shaping future rental reforms to better align with community perspectives.

The survey results, reflecting the views of over 16,000 participants across NSW, have now been made public. The survey engaged a diverse audience in seven languages, with 57% renters and 34% property owners.


The survey was launched to help give a voice to the community’s opinions on the following proposed reforms:

  • Removing ‘no grounds’ evictions on which a landlord can terminate a lease
  • Making pet ownership easier for renters.
  • Protecting personal data held by real estate agents.
  • Streamlining the transfer of rental bonds between properties.
  • Additional suggestions to improve fairness within the rental system.

There’s a distinct response divide, with most renters endorsing changes while most property owners and real estate agents oppose them. Furthermore, a continuous issue that emerged was pet ownership rules for renters. Owners can refuse pet ownership without any particular reason unless the pet is an assistance animal. While 93% of renters agreed to change this rule, only 28% of owners did.

For a deeper understanding of the survey insights and their potential influence on future rental regulations, delve further here.

May 2024

2023 NSW strata defects survey report

A deep dive into latest trends

In a joint initiative, the Building Commission NSW and the Strata Community Association NSW (SCA NSW) undertook a second survey exploring the experiences of NSW strata communities in handling severe building defects. This research is part of continuous efforts to address and comprehend the complexities of managing and rectifying significant building issues in strata properties.

The research spanned over two months, from 26 June to 31 August 2023. The key respondents were primarily strata managers overseeing Class 2 building strata schemes (defined as buildings with four or more floors above ground level) registered between July 2016 and June 2022.

The following insights from the report provide a valuable perspective on the trends and prevalence of building defects within NSW.

  • Over half (53%) of the surveyed buildings in NSW reported serious defects in common property, marking a significant increase from 39% in 2021.
  • Defects in newer buildings have been on a downward trend since 2020.
  • The reporting of these defects to regulators has seen a dramatic rise, with 34% of buildings with defects reporting them in 2023, a substantial jump from 15% in 2021.
  • The most common defects in 2023, as in 2021, were related to waterproofing and fire safety systems, accounting for 42% and 24%, respectively.
  • Over recent years, there has been a decline in the prevalence of waterproofing defects
  • 48% of strata managers agreed reforms have increased consumer confidence within the construction sector.
  • The proportion of severe defects reported to regulators in 2023 more than doubled compared to 2021, with 34% of buildings reporting in 2023 versus 15% in 2021.

To learn more about the key findings from the 2023 Strata Defects Survey Report, click the link below to explore the patterns and prevalence of current building defects impacting NSW strata properties today.

May 2024

Strata records are going digital

This significant move is geared towards enhancing the accessibility and efficiency of record keeping.

In a push towards digitisation, strata schemes are required to keep their records electronically starting from 11 June 2024. This significant move is geared towards enhancing the accessibility and efficiency of record keeping.

Key record-keeping responsibilities:

  • The strata roll (a list of all owners in your scheme) should be consistently updated, with any changes recorded and stored for seven years.
  • Financial documents, such as receipts, invoices, bank statements, and levy records, should be stored for seven years.
  • All communication records must be stored for seven years, including emails, documents, meeting minutes, and signed contracts sent and received by the owners corporation and strata committee.

How to keep your records up-to-date

Given the volume of communications within strata schemes, these records must be filed and updated regularly to maintain transparency and compliance with state regulations. To facilitate this transition, starting from 11 June 2024, all communication records must be stored electronically, preferably on a secure system.

This practice should extend to all forms of communication, including both physical mail and electronic correspondence. Physical communications should have a digital duplicate created and saved. The system should be configured to automatically save electronic communications, particularly emails, considering that a seven-year retention period applies to all saved records.

For further insights into the specific requirements for key strata records, follow the link below.

February 2024

Expanding inspection powers

Understanding the recent changes to the Home Building Act 1989

Key amendments have been made to the Home Building Act 1989 to help rebuild trust within the construction sector. These changes were implemented to help improve regulatory building standards and provide better protection for owners of residential properties.

Starting 1 December 2023, the newly-formed Building Commission NSW will take on the role of regulator for NSW’s construction industry. This consolidated approach will take over inspections, compliance, licensing, complaints, and policy functions related to building and construction from NSW Fair Trading.

In addition, the recent expansion of inspection powers has significant implications for builders, tradespeople, and building owners. These changes give inspectors from the Building Commission NSW the authority to inspect all residential construction sites and existing buildings where residential building work is being conducted.

Inspectors now have the right to enter homes under construction or those undergoing renovations to assess the build quality. However, the inspector must have the homeowner’s permission or a search warrant to enter if a building is currently occupied. They are also allowed to examine, test, collect samples or seize items if they believe this will help determine compliance with building regulations or detect potential defects.

If an inspector identifies defective work, impending defects, or damage caused by a defect, they can issue a rectification order to the contractor. Additionally, they can give a stop-work order if the building work could cause significant harm or loss to the public, current occupants, or future residents. Failure to comply with these orders could lead to penalties.

With these new powers in place, builders and tradespeople should know that their work can now be inspected at any point, not just when a building dispute is lodged with the regulator. Read more about the extension of powers intended to enhance the quality and safety of all residential building work.

February 2024

Decennial liability coverage

New ten-year defect insurance on the horizon for apartments

The proposed Decennial Liability Insurance (DLI) is set to revolutionise the insurance landscape for property owners in strata.

The New South Wales government introduced this initiative to help owners of corporations obtain coverage for potential costs for fixing severe defects for up to 10 years after the building is first occupied.

If the Decennial Liability Insurance is adopted in New South Wales, the developer or builder is expected to implement and attach the policy to a building before occupancy to cover crucial common property areas, such as the structure, fire safety systems, and waterproofing. Once put in place, this insurance protects successive owners throughout the ten year period.

Existing apartment owners are currently covered by the Strata Building Bond and Inspections Scheme (SBBIS). Under the proposed DLI scheme, developers would provide comprehensive consumer protection for building defects caused by substandard design and building work. This new policy would help owners rectify defects without delay as the costs of remediation would be covered by the insurance policy, even if a builder or developer is unable or unwilling to fix the defects, including in the case of insolvency.

The NSW Government is preparing a regulatory impact statement to explore the potential mandate of the DLI scheme in place of the existing Strata Building Bond after a transitional period. Additionally, the government is working with the insurance and construction industry to foster a competitive and affordable DLI market.

Learn more about this proposed insurance solution and how it can affect those living in residential apartment buildings.

February 2024

Guiding your strata renovations

Essential information for a seamless process

To help residents and landlords of strata properties understand the correct renovation procedure and approval processes, the New South Wales government has provided information to assist owners with maintaining compliance and uniformity in renovations across strata properties.

The current guidelines define three distinct categories for renovations and outline necessary permissions and the procedures before conducting work:

Cosmetic work

This type of renovation includes non-structural changes that don’t require waterproofing, such as painting the interior, installing hooks, or laying carpets. Cosmetic work generally doesn’t require any approval. However, be sure to check your property’s by-laws to stay aware of any specific rules or restrictions that may apply.

Minor renovations

Improvements and changes for kitchens and internal walls fall under minor renovations, which require permission from the owners corporation, strata committee, or strata managing agent. As part of the process, you may be asked to present plans of the proposed work, including the details and qualifications of the tradespeople who will carry it out. Once submitted, your request will be put to a vote at a strata meeting, requiring more than 50% of the votes for approval.

Major renovations

Any changes affecting the exterior or structure of your property, requiring waterproofing or necessitating council approval, are deemed major renovations. These require a special resolution vote at an AGM or another general meeting. 

The rules also highlight the responsibilities of tenants seeking to undertake renovations, advising them to seek permission from landlords.

If you live in a strata and are contemplating renovation work, read on to learn more about the types of renovations, tenant approval processes, and procedures for changes to common property.

February 2024

Strata Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 update

Understanding the changes impacting the owners corporation landscape

From 11 December 2023, the NSW government implemented significant changes to the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA), Community Land Management Act 2021 (CLMA), and the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (SSDA) in the Strata Legislation Amendment Bill 2023. These changes result from a statutory review of the SSMA and SSDA, designed to implement essential ‘priority’ reforms based on the 2021 report following public consultations.

The key reforms include:

1. More flexibility in the strata renewal process.
2. Stricter accountability for committee members.
3. Improved governance of scheme meetings.
4. Easier pet management in strata and community schemes.
5. Enhanced protections for individuals with assistance animals.
6. Streamlined operation of two lot schemes.
7. Amplified requirements around tenancy notices.

Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA)

Key changes within the Strata Schemes Management Act include:

  • A new requirement for owners corporations to provide a 14-day notice for an annual general meeting.
  • Original owners, typically the developers, must now provide crucial documents (like built drawings, warranties, and maintenance schedules) at least 14 days before the first Annual General Meeting (AGM).
  • A simplified process for removing and preventing strata committee members with a declared financial interest from participating in related discussions or decisions.
  • The current limits on how many proxies a person can have now apply to voting rights held by company nominees and those with power of attorney.
  • Owners corporations are no longer allowed to ask for a pet bond or insurance and cannot restrict the keeping of assistance animals.
  • For expenses exceeding $30,000, owners corporations must now obtain at least two independent quotations.
  • Levies for emergency repairs can now be made payable within a minimum of 14 days after notice is given.
  • New obligations require landlords or agents to provide tenants with by-laws, relevant strata, building management statements, or changes within 14 days of lease initiation.
  • A resolution at a general meeting is required within three months to transfer funds between capital works and administrative funds.
  • In a two-lot scheme, the requirement for a formal resolution to take action concerning a by-law breach has been removed.
  • All future records of owners corporations must be kept in electronic form six months after these amendments are initiated.

Community Land Management Act 2021 (CLMA)

Most of these amendments also apply to the Community Land Management Act, with two additional changes, including increasing the maximum number of association committee members from nine to 15 when the association has more than three members and adding a new section prohibiting unreasonable restrictions on pet keeping.

Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (SSDA)

Lastly, under Strata Schemes Development Act, the notification method for application to terminate a strata scheme will now be as specified by the registrar general, with notification occurring no more than six months before application. Also, a strata renewal committee’s operation time has been extended from one to two years without an extension.

Read on to learn and prepare for the key changes impacting owners corporations in New South Wales.


Important note: This summary is designed to outline the main legislation and process changes for strata schemes as they apply to owners and occupiers and is not intended to be exhaustive. PICA Group does not offer legal advice.

February 2024

2025 fire regulation changes

Upcoming fire safety reforms impacting owners corporation obligations

In a move to bolster the safety standards of buildings, a suite of fire safety reforms was introduced by the New South Wales government, impacting the fire safety responsibilities and implementation of processes for owners corporations.

As part of the staged rollout, the next reform will require building owners to apply mandatory procedures for maintaining fire safety measures in their properties to provide an additional layer of safety for occupants and ensure regulatory compliance.

Scheduled to take effect on 13 February 2025, owners will be required to use an accredited person to certify newly installed fire safety measures and record relevant information before a fire safety certificate is issued.

These reforms also mandate that owners follow the Australian Standard 1851-2012 procedures for maintaining essential fire safety measures in all buildings except single dwellings. The changes emphasise the role of accredited professionals and the importance of regular maintenance, paving the way for enhanced building safety standards.

Read on to learn more about the reforms redefining building owners’ responsibilities and enhancing building fire safety.

November 2023

Emergency Services Levy scrapped

A step towards insurance affordability for NSW strata residents

The New South Wales Emergency Services Levy (ESL) is set for a revamp to relieve homeowners from bearing the financial burden of natural disaster insurance. In a commendable move, NSW Labor Premier Chris Minns has announced the abolition of the controversial emergency services levy (ESL) on insurance premiums.

The ESL, included in home insurance policies, currently funds approximately 73.7% of NSW emergency services. This arrangement has led to an average increase of 18% in insurance prices as providers raise their premiums to accommodate the levy. 

The consequential result of such a heavy levy is that almost one in five homeowners are opting to risk going uninsured. However, rising premiums and pressure of living costs have left around 17.6% of households without home or contents insurance. The NSW government expressed concern in a statement, highlighting that these households risk significant loss during a natural disaster due to unaffordable premiums, particularly as NSW becomes increasingly susceptible to fires and floods.

The existing model of funding emergencies through levies is no longer sustainable, prompting the government to search for alternative sources to replace the $1.6 billion revenue. While the removal of the ESL will be marketed to voters as cost-of-living relief, it camouflages the urgent need for a comprehensive reform for efficient taxation.

This planned reform signals a welcomed relief to helping reduce the financial strain of property insurance and making it more accessible to NSW strata residents.

November 2023

Critical strata law reforms in NSW

A move towards fairer and more transparent strata living

The NSW Government is preparing to implement pivotal reforms to strata laws to help the industry move towards a more transparent and equitable system. With approximately 1,000 strata schemes being registered annually over the past decade, the increasing need to address current issues and modernise strata living is becoming a key topic of focus.

The First Phase of Reforms

The NSW Government is ready to commence its first phase of reforms to help benefit strata residents. The upcoming legislation will:

  • Improve the collective sale and renewal process by mandating owners to disclose conflicts of interest and enabling courts to award costs against those acting unreasonably.
  • Simplify pet ownership in strata properties by prohibiting fees, bonds, or insurance as a condition for pet ownership.
  • Promote the competitive pricing of goods and services by requiring owners corporations to seek a second opinion for work costing over $30,000.
  • Empower Fair Trading to request the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to appoint a compulsory managing agent for dysfunctional strata schemes.

These reforms signify a promising step towards a fairer and more transparent strata living experience in NSW. Read on to learn how these reforms will address long-standing issues and help the strata laws adapt to the evolving landscape of community living arrangements.

November 2023

Unlock savings with WaterFix Strata

Get a free online water usage assessment and quote for your strata property

In the face of rising living costs, Sydney Water brings to the forefront a solution to help strata properties conserve water and reduce costs  – the WaterFix® Strata service. This service offers a free online water assessment, comprehensive building inspection, and an obligation-free repair quote designed to help strata properties uncover and implement effective water-saving strategies. Here’s a deep dive into what WaterFix Strata could mean for your property:

Free online water usage assessment:

The WaterFix Strata service offers a free online water usage assessment to help you determine if your strata property’s water consumption aligns with industry benchmarks.

Water efficiency assessment: If the initial assessment flags excessive water usage, WaterFix Strata investigates further by inspecting 10% of apartments and common areas to pinpoint the root causes impacting your property’s water efficiency.


No-obligation quote:

WaterFix Strata provides no-obligation quotes inclusive of services and materials from licensed plumbers and skilled tradespeople for water efficiency improvements such as:

  • Repairing tap and toilet leaks
  • Installing water-efficient devices
  • Replacing faulty tapware and single-flush toilets
  • Detecting concealed leaks
  • Fixing leaks in common areas


Flexible Payment Options:  WaterFix Strata offers flexible payment options, including a one-off fee, distributed payments over 12 months, or a performance agreement based on water savings.
Additionally, substantial savings properties could qualify for a performance payment plan, eliminating the need for any out-of-pocket payments.

Visit the Sydney Water website below to learn more about WaterFix Strata and discover how much you can save for your building today.

November 2023

Get EV ready

Applications now open for NSW’s Electric Vehicle Ready Buildings Grant program

In the first half of 2023, electric vehicle (EV) purchases accounted for 8% of new car sales in NSW, indicating a growing shift towards eco-friendly transportation. With the increasing shift and support towards eco-friendly transportation in NSW, the urgency to equip buildings, particularly apartment complexes, with EV charging infrastructure is escalating.

The NSW Government has launched an innovative program, the EV Ready Buildings initiative, dedicating $10 million to transform existing apartment complexes into EV-ready facilities.

The primary purpose of this initiative is to subsidise the assessment and installation of EV infrastructure.

Home Charging: A Preferred Choice for EV Owners
Industry estimates suggest that 80-90% of EV owners prefer to charge their vehicles at home, whether in a single dwelling or an apartment building. With 15% of NSW’s population living in apartments and nearly 84,000 strata schemes, the NSW Government is now offering co-funding to retrofit existing apartment buildings to make them EV-ready.


Leverage the EV-Ready Buildings Grant

With grants up to $80,000 per building on offer, now is the perfect time to accelerate your strata’s shift towards a more sustainable future. Applications are open until the allocated funds are exhausted.


Benefits of Investing in EV Charging Infrastructure

Investing in EV charging infrastructure will meet residents’ needs and expectations and increase interest in rental properties by offering added amenities. Moreover, it will improve equitable access to EV technology, driving sustainability efforts forward.


What This Grant Can Help You Accomplish

  1. Assess your building’s current and future EV charging needs.
  2. Retrofit EV charging infrastructure, including switchboards, distribution boards, and cabling.
  3. Facilitate residents in easily installing their personal EV chargers.


Learn more about this grant and check your strata property’s eligibility and application process today.

November 2023

Australia’s first short-term rental levy

 NSW Considers Victorian-Style Airbnb Tax to Tackle Housing Crisis

In a landmark move to tackle the rental shortage, Australia’s first short-term rental levy was introduced by the Victorian state government, declaring a 7.5% levy from 2025 on all revenue from short-stay accommodation platforms, such as Airbnb.

This move has quickly become the central point of discussion across Australia and could signify a paradigm shift in the management and pricing strategies for short-term rentals. As states consider various approaches to address the housing crisis, the Victorian-style Airbnb tax is emerging as a topic of interest and a potential solution for the housing crisis.

NSW’s Approach to Housing Crisis

NSW Premier Chris Minns stated that he is open to adopting the Victorian model of a levy on short-term rentals. He noted that platforms like Airbnb have significantly reduced rental properties, particularly in coastal and popular holiday areas such as Byron Bay. As part of a broader initiative to boost housing availability, NSW is reviewing the state’s rental laws, which will consider a levy on short-term rentals.

Evaluation of Victoria’s Airbnb Levy

NSW Housing Minister Rose Jackson will meet with the Andrews government to assess the modelling of Victoria’s 7.5% Airbnb levy and examine whether it could alleviate the rental crisis in NSW. While the levy is attractive, the NSW government is also looking into other measures to persuade investors and homeowners to put their properties into the long-term rental market.


Read more about the unfolding discussions surrounding Victoria’s innovative short-term rental levy.

August 2023

Strata insurance premium increases

What you need to know

PICA Group is working with BCB Strata Insurance Brokers to help  limit premium increases for strata plans.
Over the past few years, BCB Strata Insurance Brokers have reported increased strata premiums with an average 20% rise nationally for standard risk profiles and up to 40% for regions impacted by floods and storms.


Here are their 2023 insights and suggestions to help you navigate the rise of strata insurance premium increases in New South Wales:


  1. Catastrophic weather events in Australia have led to an increase in insurance claims.
  2. Reinsurance costs for insurers have increased dramatically due to climate change and extreme weather patterns.
  3. Strata insurance premiums have increased on average 20% nationally for standard risk profiles and up to 40% in areas impacted by floods and storms.
  4. BCB is working with PICA Group to limit premium increases and help drive competition between insurers.
  5. Insurers have increased policy excesses to avoid even higher premium increases and cut down on administrative costs.
  6. Insurers are becoming less lenient in accepting buildings with known defects or cladding, making it essential to have a plan to ensure insurance renewal.
  7. Owners are responsible for insuring their property for total replacement value and must have a yearly valuation to avoid significant underinsurance.
  8. Increases in building and labour costs, driven by a shortage of contractors and high demand for materials, have led to higher construction costs and average claim costs, resulting in premium rises.

Download the information sheet below to read more on strata insurance premium increases and renewal review suggestions from BCB Strata Insurance Brokers.

August 2023

The potential risks of E-bikes

A cautionary note on potential fire hazards from charging E-bikes

As the popularity of e-bikes and e-scooters continues to rise for their eco-friendly and convenient transportation options, safety should be an utmost priority when it comes to charging electric vehicles.

Charging e-bike or e-scooter batteries can lead to overheating and, in rare cases, fire hazards. It is crucial to use chargers provided by the manufacturer and avoid charging devices overnight or unattended. Low-quality chargers, faulty batteries, or inappropriate charging practices may significantly increase the risk.


E-bikes and e-scooters require electrical outlets for charging. To prevent electrical hazards:

  • Use designated outlets
  • Avoid overloading circuits
  • Do not use extension cords or power strips, as they can cause overheating or fires.
  • Immediately report any electrical issues or malfunctioning outlets.


Recent incidents such as a fire at caused by an e-bike left charging, serve as a reminder of the importance of understanding the hazards and prioritise safety when it comes to their charging and storage.

Click on the link below to learn about the potential risks of charging e-bikes and e-scooters on your property.

August 2023

Energy accounts payments assistance scheme

Relief households facing energy bill stress

The Energy Accounts Payments Assistance (EAPA) scheme is a valuable resource for individuals and families facing financial hardship in NSW. In partnership with non-government organisations and NSW energy retailers, this program provides eligible households with one-off payments to help ease the burden of electricity and gas costs.

Remember, if you find yourself struggling to pay your energy bills, don’t hesitate to reach out to your electricity or gas supplier for possible payment extensions or hardship arrangements. If further assistance is required, the EAPA scheme is there to help everyone access essential energy services and financial relief when needed.

Follow the link below to learn more about the eligibility criteria and application information.

May 2023

The push to improve the liveability of strata schemes  

Sustainability infrastructure

The NSW Strata Community Association are urging to improve by-laws in response to a recommendation that would enforce a blanket prohibition of by-laws that block sustainability infrastructure.

The Statutory Review of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (SSDA) and the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA) Consultation Paper have recommended ten improvements for the liveability of strata complexes. However, SCA (NSW) disagrees with recommendation 115, which would impose a blanket prohibition of by-laws that reject sustainability infrastructure based on their appearance.

Click the link to learn more.

May 2023

Cut your heating costs in 2023 

Energy-efficient heaters

Electric heaters, gas heaters, and reverse-cycle air conditioning are common types of heaters available. However, heating costs can rise significantly during winter if you’re not using an energy-efficient heater. When preparing your home for the cooler months, it is important to consider:

  • Choosing a model with a high star rating and a timer that can help save you money on energy bills.
  • Ensuring your property has adequate insulation and weather stripping around windows and doors can also help reduce heat loss.

Click on the link for a 2023 guide to energy-efficient heaters to prepare for the upcoming winter.

May 2023

The risk of unmaintained flexi-hoses

Homeowners are urged to take a closer look at their flexible hoses. Also known as braided hoses, these are generally installed inside lot spaces and have been known to fail unexpectedly, resulting in water damage and significant repair costs. Understanding the risks associated with flexible hoses and how to maintain them can help you prevent costly repairs and protect your property from water damage.

Click the link to learn more about the issue of flexible hoses and why homeowners should check if their plumbing fixtures are in good condition.

May 2023

Strata community calls for reform of emergency services levy

Strata owners in NSW pay significantly more in duties, levies, and taxes than other states and territories. Calls for reform to the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) have been raised to improve insurance affordability for the strata community and insurance policyholders.

The ESL is a tax levied by the New South Wales government to fund emergency services such as fire and ambulance services. While the tax intends to assure adequate funding for essential services, many argue that the current system is inequitable and burdens strata owners disproportionately.

Click the link to learn more about the Emergency Services Levy and why it is considered an inequitable tax for strata property owners in New South Wales.

December 2022

Project Innovate to help owners have defects fixed

The NSW Government recently launched Project Innovate. This program helps strata property owners have serious defects and non-compliant building work fixed by the building’s developer.

You are likely eligible for this program if you own a lot within a residential building that fits into all of the following criteria:

  1. There is a serious defect in common property
  2. The building’s developer or builder is still solvent and otherwise current
  3. The building is four or more storeys high
  4. The building’s occupation certificate was issued less than six years ago.

September 2022

Strata Hub update

A NSW Government initiative, Strata Hub is a compulsory new digital reporting tool for strata communities. It has been designed to make it easier for strata property owners and prospective buyers to access information about a strata property. It would also help NSW Fair Trading better monitor each property’s maintenance or defect rectification work.

Where it’s at

Strata Hub has now been legislated and has completed stage one of its trial phase. During stage two of the trial phase, all strata schemes would be required to submit documentation to the platform.

What happens next

PICA Group is keeping abreast of developments that come from the trial so that our customers’ Strata Hub requirements can be effectively maintained and managed.

You could expect your strata manager to send your committee further details about Strata Hub, as well as a suite of motions to consider, shortly.

July 2022

PICA Group wins at SCA NSW Awards

We are thrilled to share that PICA Group was awarded not just one but two accolades at the SCA NSW Strata Community CHU Awards for Excellence in July.


A giant congratulations to these superstars who took out coveted awards:

– Sarah Hogg: Winner, Senior Strata Community Manager Award

– Keith Hallet (alongside Andrew Croucher and Strata Plan 55792): Winner, Strata Community Environmental and Engagement Award

A giant congratulations must also go out to our award finalists:

– Keith Hallet: Finalist, Strata Community Manager Award

– Dynamic Property Services: Finalist, Strata Community Management Business Award – Large


We at PICA Group strive for excellence in enhancing community living, so it was wonderful to see some of our hard work and talented staff members being recognised at the awards ceremony.

July 2022

Government assistance available for customers affected by floods

The Federal Government has declared the floods experienced earlier this year a natural disaster. If you were affected by major damage to your property or other assets due to these floods, you and your family might be eligible for a lump sum payment of $1000 per adult and $400 per child younger than 16.

If you live in one of the 30+ local government areas that have been declared a disaster, you have until 1 February 2023 to make a claim for this assistance payment.

July 2022

Fair Work Commission increases minimum wage

The Fair Work Commission has increased the minimum wage from 4.6%- 5.2%, effective 1st of July 2022.

This means some contractors assisting your property for services such as cleaning, security, gardening, landscaping, pest control, plumbing, and fire services may increase their labour costs.

We encourage committees to take the 4.6%-5.2% rise in the minimum wage into account when budgeting for regular maintenance works as well as repairs and upgrade projects.

If you have any questions regarding budgeting for increased labour costs, please get in touch with your strata manager.


May 2022

Pandemic and natural disasters impact contractor availability and insurance premiums

Australia has experienced significant challenges over the past 2.5 years – from devastating bush fires and the pandemic to the recent significant flooding in South-Eastern Queensland and Northern NSW. This all contributes to a national challenge in securing materials and labour to attend to both emergency works and routine maintenance works required for your strata community.

While PICA Group has access to an extensive list of contractors, there are delays and economic impacts that are unavoidable as a result of the economic climate we face and we ask for your understanding as the suppliers work with us and your community to provide the necessary services.

The broader impact of these shortages, escalating prices and significant insurance losses are the impact to the premiums that may be experienced by strata communities and businesses throughout Australia.

Brokers have indicated an expectation to accommodate an uplift in budgets for insurance renewals. Given this is likely to be based on the existing building sum insured (with minor escalation of costs allowances), it is important to consider how these escalating costs could affect your strata community.

We recommend that your committee considers reviewing the policy limits and, where appropriate, obtains a revised insurance valuation report that considers all costs, including building sum insured, temporary accommodation, demolition etc., to make sure that there is sufficient provision in the event of a claim being submitted.

To obtain an appropriate valuation, or for any other assistance you may need for this task, please liaise directly with your strata manager.

May 2022

NSW Government initiative Strata Hub has commenced trial

Strata Hub, a compulsory new digital reporting tool, has now begun its trial phase. A NSW Government initiative, Strata Hub is designed to make it easier for strata property owners and prospective buyers to access information about a strata property. It would also help NSW Fair Trading better monitor each property’s maintenance or defect rectification work.

Strata Hub has now been legislated, and all strata schemes would be required to submit documentation to the platform once the trial phase is over.

PICA Group is keeping abreast of developments that come from the trial so that our customers’ Strata Hub requirements can be effectively maintained and managed.

You can learn more about Strata Hub below.

June 2022

PICA Group CEO Wayne Walker to take part in Vinnies’ CEO Sleepout

PICA Group’s CEO Wayne Walker will once again be participating in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, this year on 23 June. Needless to say, we’re incredibly proud of him.

This annual event raises vital funds for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of finding themselves without a safe place to call home. Every dollar we raise goes to Vinnies’ services, which include food, accommodation, education, counselling, employment and health programs. If you’d like to make a donation to Wayne’s fundraising effort, you can do so below.

March 2022

Federal Government takes a step towards providing cyclone reinsurance pool

The Federal Government has now passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Cyclone and Flood Damage Reinsurance Pool) Bill 2022, which is due to assist property owners in cyclone-prone regions with insurance affordability.

This program was first announced as part of the 2021-22 Federal Budget last year and is backed by a $10 billion government guarantee. This will allow the government to establish a reinsurance pool, which is set to assist with supporting the funding of claims for over 880,000 eligible policies.

The true specifics of how this legislation would operate across the insurance sector are yet to be fully determined as the insurance pool has only recently been announced. In the meantime, you can access the specific legislation below.