2016 saw a major overhaul of strata legislation in NSW with over 90 changes. With more than a quarter of NSW’s population living or owning in a strata these changes will effect many of us. This is part 3 in our series summarising some of the major changes to strata laws and focuses on maintenance and common property.
Maintenance and common property: An owners corporation may now determine by special resolution that it is inappropriate to maintain, renew or replace an item of property, if it does not affect the safety of any building, structure or common property in the strata.
Maintenance and common property: An owners corporation may defer carrying out repairs and maintenance to a property until the completion of any action against an owner or other person in respect of the damage, provided such deferral does not affect the safety of any building, structure or common property in the strata.
Maintenance and common property: The by-laws of a strata may adopt a common property memorandum published by the NSW government which specifies whether an owner of a lot or the owners corporation is responsible for the maintenance, repair or replacement of any part of the common property.
Maintenance and common property: The strata manager and its appointees and employees and contractors of the owners corporation may enter any part of a lot or common property for the purpose of carrying out repair and maintenance work.
Maintenance and common property: An owners corporation may, subject to approval by special resolution, grant a license to any person to use common property in a particular manner or for particular purposes.
Maintenance and common property: The original owner must prepare a maintenance schedule for the strata which includes maintenance and inspection schedules for anything on common property where the maintenance and inspection is reasonably required to avoid damage to the thing or a failure to function properly for its intended purpose. This includes, among other things, maintenance and inspection schedules for the exterior walls, guttering, downpipes and roof, pools and pool gates and fences, air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarms and smoke detectors and other fire protection equipment and security access systems. The initial maintenance schedule must also include all warranties for systems, equipment or any other things referred to in the schedule, any manuals or maintenance requirements provided by manufacturers for any of those things and the name and contact details of the manufacturer and installer of any of those things.
Levies: New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) can order the original owner of the strata to pay for compensation if the original owner’s estimates and levies were inadequate to meet the actual or expected expenditure of the owners corporation.
Unpaid Levies: The new laws now allow the amount outstanding under any judgment debt in respect of unpaid levies to be attached to the rent for the property by way of garnishee order made by court to allow the owners corporation to recover debt.
Parking: Owners corporations can now enter into agreements with the local council for council to erect signs and exercise enforcement functions over the common property parking area..
Abandoned goods: Abandoned good on common property can now be stored and disposed by the by the owners corporation in a process set by strata legislation.
Engaging Lawyers: Engaging legal services which is likely to exceed $10,000 must be approved by the owners corporation in a general meeting. However, exceptions apply for recovery of levy arrears recovery and some urgent matters.
This article is for general information only and not legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained before taking any action or otherwise rely upon the content of this article in any way. This article was prepared on 17 January 2017 and has not been revised to account for any changes in the law since that time.