New Strata Legislation – Owner Responsibilities
This information guide is aimed at providing a basic overview of the obligations of each owner. We encourage owners to become involved in the decisions surrounding your asset and/or home or place of work.
By-laws are the rules of occupation. If you are an owner-investor, you have an obligation to ensure that your tenants are provided with a copy of the by-laws for the scheme within 14 days of the tenant taking possession of the lot.
The new legislation has called for a review of each scheme’s existing by-laws within 12 months and allows the scheme to obtain an order for payment of a monetary penalty by the person who has committed a knowing breach of the by-laws.
THREE SPECIFIC OBLIGATIONS
1. Owners, occupiers, and others are not to interfere with support or shelter provided by the lot or with services.
2. An owner must notify of changes to the structure of the lot.
3. Owners, occupiers and other persons are not to create nuisance.
An owner is to advise the owners corporation within 14 days of the details of the lease or sub-lease. The details must include: name of tenant, address for notice to tenants, start date of the lease, name of the property manager if relevant.
In situations where 50% or more of a scheme is not owner-occupied, then the legislation allows for a tenant representative on the strata committee.
PAYMENT OF LEVIES
Each owner has an obligation to pay the contribution levied on their lot as decided at the annual general meeting of the owners corporation. Each owner should be aware:
- That the levy is determined by the budget and apportioned according to the unit entitlement of the lot;
- The detailed budget is provided to each owner as part of the notice of annual general meeting. It shows the breakdown of what the costs are associated with running your scheme, both day to day and for capital works.
- Of the due dates of the levy cycle, and that 10% penalty interest is incurred for late payments which is payable to the owners corporation trust account.
Safety always rates high on the hierarchy of our personal needs. The Act imposes a duty to repair and maintain common property. In addition to this obligation your scheme has various compliance obligations to your local council, state government and national authorities ranging from fire measures, lift safety, window devices, etc. Owners must provide access to their lots to enable the variety of obligations to be met.
DECISIONS ARE MADE AT MEETINGS
You are afforded the right to vote at meetings of the owners corporation once your details are on the strata roll and the amounts levied on your lot are fully paid at the time of the meeting.
Your committee is elected at the annual general meeting. They have a duty of care to look after the best interests of the scheme. They effectively become your decision makers. Committee members look to their Strata Plus strata manager to give the guidance under the legislative framework and what is deemed best practice. The committee members are volunteers who give their time willingly. The term is until the next annual general meeting.
Notification via email
The new legislation allows email to be an acceptable method of contact. The owner must still direct in writing their address (postal or email) for all notices and correspondence. Please complete the Owner Email Authority & Details form which will also assist in keeping your scheme’s costs down.
24/7 free access
By-laws, the Strata Plan, application forms and other useful information, is available to owners, tenants, property managers on the client microsites. In addition, via a secure login, the owner can view the minutes of meetings to see the decisions made for their scheme.
The governing laws for NSW owners corporations are the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 & Regulation 2106, and the Property Stock & Business Agents Act 2002 & Regulation 2014.