Strata and Community Title Developments

Buying a strata unit “off the plan”, before it has been built, has long been common.

 

As compared with buying an existing property, there are many potential benefits, e.g. good pricing offered by developers needing to satisfy finance requirements, potential capital gain during the period between signing the contract and settlement, possible government first home buyer assistance, flexibility regarding floor plan and inclusions and more time to arrange your affairs before moving.

The NSW Government has proclaimed the commencement date for the Community Land Management Act 2021 (CLMA) and Community Land Development Act 2021, as well as their associated regulations – all set to commence on 1 December 2021.

 

Ahead of the commencement date stakeholders should be aware of some of the more significant changes coming in. A non-exhaustive list of the more notable changes for each of these groups, and generally, are set out below:

The long awaited update to the Community Schemes legislation is expected to commence on 1 December 2021 this year. The changes are significant and apply to almost all aspects of the community legislation.

 

This article is directed towards some of the more significant changes relevant to Community Association’s Management Statements and by-laws:

Amendments to the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (“Act”), which commenced on 1 March 2017, give owners some significant new rights.

 

Each lot owners’ consent is required for any DA relating to the ‘whole’ strata scheme

 

Under the new Part 10 strata renewal provisions in the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (SSDA 2015) there is no special power given to an owners corporation to lodge a development application over all lots.

‘Collective Sale’ has been a property buzzword in 2016 – state and local government zoning changes, together with the changes that the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 now bring, make collective sales a hot topic right now.

 

The Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 and the Strata Schemes Development Regulation 2016 commenced on 30 November 2016. One of the most important reforms effected by the act is the urban renewal mechanism contained in Part 10, which may permit the collective sale or redevelopment of strata schemes, without unanimous agreement of lot owners being required.

 

One of the most important reforms effected by the act is the urban renewal mechanism contained in Part 10, which may permit collective sale redevelopment of strata schemes, without unanimous agreement of lot owners being required. We are already encountering developers and lot owners pushing forward with proposals, with a view to moving quickly when the act comes into force.

This is a submission from Bannermans Lawyers addressing a number of issues raised in the discussion paper, based on our experience acting for community associations, lot owners, managing agents and contractors in relation to community scheme transactions and disputes.

 

Despite legislative restrictions on developers retaining control of new apartment buildings, developers can continue to control buildings after completion.