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Posted 12 September 2016
Category: Strata, Strata and Community Title Developments, Urban Renewal
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.
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 article will focus on the importance of the returning officer and the protection this requirement affords lot owners. Further information in relation to other aspects of the operation of Part 10 can be obtained in our article Navigating Strata Urban Renewal: Commercial Gain – vs – Home Ownership.
Broadly, the collective sale/redevelopment procedure involves the making of a proposal, initial consideration of that proposal, constitution of a strata renewal committee, formulation of a strata renewal plan and submission of that plan to the owners corporation. At that point, the owners corporation may pass a special resolution approving the plan and deciding to submit it to lot owners for approval. This triggers several provisions intended to protect lot owners. In particular:
Clearly, the role of the returning officer will be an important one. A decision whether or not to support a strata renewal plan will be one of the more important decisions the owner of a strata apartment will make, particularly if the apartment is the owner’s home. The support notice mechanism is comparable to an election in relation to that important issue and the returning officer has an important role in preserving the integrity of that election.
Owners of apartments in a strata scheme the subject of a strata renewal proposal should carefully consider who they will engage as their returning officer. We would be pleased to provide any assistance which may be required by owners, including our engagement as returning officer.
***The information contained in this article is general information only and not legal advice. The currency, accuracy and completeness of this article (and its contents) should be checked by obtaining independent legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon its contents in any way.