The NSW Government has announced a number of proposed important changes to the law relating to the ownership of lots in a Strata Scheme. The draft legislation is likely to be introduced to the NSW Parliament by late 2015.
The proposed changes have been driven by the demand for urban renewal and increased housing density in larger cities.
A Strata Scheme must obtain unanimous consent from all lot owners if it proposes to deal with Common Property which is property owned by the Strata Scheme. It can be very difficult and cumbersome to obtain unanimous consent particularly when lot owners have a diversity of wishes and agendas. Some lot owners are keen to have a Strata Scheme renewed or redeveloped whereas others are content with the existing scheme.
One proposal is that a Strata Scheme can now deal with Common Property by only obtaining approval of the majority. This means that minority voters will no longer be able to block the development of any proposal relating to Common Property including the redevelopment of a Strata Scheme.
There are also proposed changes to the way that a Strata Scheme can be terminated. Presently, termination of a Strata Scheme can only take place by application to the Registrar General at the Land and Property Information or by application to the Court. Any decision must be made unanimously.
It is proposed now that 75% of lot owners may vote in favour of termination of a Strata Scheme so that a minority of individual owners will no longer be able to vote against resolutions for a redevelopment. It is the intention that if 75% or more of lot owners wish to sell the development then they cannot be prevented by a minority.
There are a number of other proposals which include a proposal to limit the number of proxy votes allowed at a meeting and to permit lot owners to carry out minor renovations to their lot without the approval of the committee.