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New Health Orders and police powers for Apartment Buildings

COVID-19 Laws – New Health Orders and police powers for Apartment Buildings

On 6 September 2021, the Minister for Health and Medical Research introduced a new COVID-19 Health Order. The revised Order includes additional provisions to facilitate government lockdowns of specific apartments.
In short, the Order offers the Minister the power to declare a building as a “high COVID-19 risk premises”. This declaration can be made if at least one dwelling in the building is considered a COVID-19 risk premises and there is a risk of transmission of COVID-19 between the residents. The declarations will be made on the NSW Health website.
Unless the Minister revokes the declaration, a building will remain a high COVID-19 risk premises for 14 days. During this time residents must not leave their residence unless they are instructed to do so by an authorised medical practitioner or the police, or in the case of an emergency. READ MORE

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Short-term letting restrictions and how they impact you

Short-term letting restrictions – PART 2

Short-term letting restrictions and how they impact you

We have previously written an article about the short term letting issues affecting property and strata participants back on 6 March 2021 (You can read it here). In short, it dealt with Part 1 of the legislative framework to regulate the short term letting situation. It involves the NSW Fair Trading’s mandatory code of conduct (which regulates the conduct of short term letting, presuming it is permissible) and the Strata Legislation (which allows the strata schemes to ban short term letting in lots that are not a principal place of residence of the owner or occupier). READ MORE

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Strata Laws on Pets and Animals

New strata laws on pets and animals

Attention pet lovers (and the not-so-much pet lovers)! There may well be more furry additions coming your way to your nearest strata building soon.
From 25 August 2021, the amendment to the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) prevents a blanket ban on pets in a strata scheme. Section 137B of the Act effectively nullifies a by-law to the extent that bans or prohibits the keeping of animals in a strata scheme unless it “unreasonably interferes with another occupant’s use and enjoyment of the occupant’s lot or the common property.” READ MORE

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Phasing out of Certificates of Title and the expansion of electronic conveyancing

On 11 October 2021, all certificates of title were cancelled and all dealings are now being lodged electronically over an electronic property dealing lodgment network such as PEXA.

PEXA is an electronic conveyancing platform, which at present, is the most widely used electronic lodgment network in NSW. It has recently listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

What this means for land owners:

  • No more certificates of title after settlement or after paying off mortgages.
  • The public cannot lodge dealings on land without assistance from a property lawyer or conveyancer.
  • People wishing to lodge a dealing over land must have their identity verified by the PEXA subscriber and must establish their right to deal with their land.
  • Verification of identity involves an in person meeting with the PEXA Subscriber and inspection of identification documents.
  • Establishing the right to deal with land involves providing evidence of ownership (e.g. current rates notice, land tax assessment etc).

Short-term letting – Updated Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct for the short-term rental accommodation industry was updated on 28 May 2021. Landlords providing short term rental accommodation must comply with the Code of Conduct or face penalties READ MORE

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Phasing out of Certificate of Titles and the expansion of electronic conveyancing

On 11 October 2021, all certificates of title will be cancelled and all dealings will be lodged electronically.

What this means for land owners:

  • No more certificates of title after settlement or after paying off mortgages;
  • The legal remedy for requiring the return of certificates of title from others is abolished;
  • The public cannot lodge dealings on land without assistance from a property lawyer or conveyancer (most are PEXA subscribers).
  • People wishing to lodge a dealing over land must have their identity verified by the PEXA subscriber and must establish their right to deal with their land.
  • Verification of identity involves an in person meeting with the PEXA Subscriber and inspection of identification documents.
  • Establishing the right to deal with land involves providing evidence of ownership (e. g current rates notice, land tax assessment etc).

Short-term letting – Updated Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct for the short-term rental accommodation industry was updated on 28 May 2021. Landlords providing short term rental accommodation must comply with the Code of Conduct or face penalties of up 1,000 penalty units for corporate owners or up to 200 penalty units for individuals (one penalty unit is equal to $110).

The key elements of the Code of Conduct are: READ MORE

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NSW Supreme Court – When are executed lease documents binding

The recent NSW Supreme Court case of Thorn Australia Pty Ltd v Centuria Property Funds Ltd [2021] NSWSC 1271 highlights the necessity for caution and diligence when executing and exchanging deeds, especially in property matters.

The Court was asked to determine whether a prospective lessee who had signed and delivered deeds to a lessor was bound by the deeds. The Court found that although the lessee executed the deeds, provided a bank guarantee, made arrangements regarding access and making further payments, it was held that the lessee did not objectively manifest an intention to be immediately bound by the deeds. READ MORE

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Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Leasing

NSW Government re-introduces the National Cabinet’s Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Leasing

On 13 August 2021, the NSW Gov­ern­ment announced it will rein­tro­duce the Nation­al Cabinet’s Manda­to­ry Code of Con­duct for Com­mer­cial Leas­ing man­dat­ing rent relief for eligible ten­ants impact­ed by Covid-19.

The Retail and Oth­er Commer­cial Leas­es (Covid-19) Reg­u­la­tion 2021:

  • will be extended until 13 January 2022 (previously due to expire on 20 August 2021)
  • requires the lessor to renegotiate the impacted lease with the lessee in accordance to the principles set out in the National Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct requires landlords to provide rent relief in proportion with their tenant’s decline in turnover. At least 50 per cent of the rent relief must be in the form a waiver, and the balance a deferral.
  • prevents a land­lord from evict­ing or lock­ing out a ten­ant for cer­tain breach­es unless they have first rene­go­ti­at­ed rent and attempt­ed mediation.

The Reg­u­la­tion will apply to com­mer­cial and retail ten­ants with a turnover of up to $50 million who are impacted lessees, that is, they qualify for the COVID-19 Microbusiness grant, COVID-19 Business Grant or JobSaver Payment. READ MORE

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Phasing out of Certificates of Title and the expansion of electronic conveyancing

Every day we read about the property market in Australia. Often it is about housing affordability, defects in high rise residential developments or the relentless impact of technology on the way we do business in this sector.

In this month’s article we cover some of the recent changes to property law in NSW and what impact they will have

Phasing out of Certificates of Title and the expansion of electronic conveyancing

On 11 October 2021, all certificates of title will be cancelled and all dealings will be lodged electronically over an electronic property dealing lodgment network such as PEXA. PEXA is an electronic conveyancing platform, which at present, is the most widely used electronic lodgment network in NSW. It has recently listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. READ MORE