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Strata Building Defects – Protections for Owners

Strata Building Defects and Part 11 Protections for Strata Owners

We have previously written an article about the new duty of care protection in favour of property and strata owners, which is available under the new Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 NSW (DBPA). Basically, it establishes a new duty of care against various building practitioners, retrospectively, covering losses arising from the last 10 years or so. However, that is not the only remedy available (of course). The issue of building defects have been around for a very long time and the legislation have been changing constantly, especially for strata buildings and it involves a myriad of legislation and laws. And that’s why those poor people at Opal and Mascot Towers were tearing their hair out when all those defects came into light. In passing, it is somewhat of a cold comfort to those at Mascot Towers, understanding that various defects were pre-existing at least since 2012 and structural defects still appear to remain. [...]  READ MORE →

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Rewrite to Community Land Development and Management Acts

Complete rewrite to Community Land Development and Management Acts

The old set of community scheme legislation was effectively blown into pieces with the new, commenced on 1 December 2021. Are you ready for all the changes?

The Development and Management Acts 1989 are now repealed with the staged commencement of the new counterparts (Community Land Development Act 2021 and the Community Land Management Act 2021) started in March 2021 and “finally” on 1 December 2021.

The official line is that the reforms align the community scheme laws with that of the strata schemes. And the official line is not wrong. However, there were significant points of differences between the two sets of legislation in the past and even now. And additionally, strata schemes simply do not have the more complex issues such as the tiered scheme systems such as neighbourhood and precinct schemes, association property, community management statement, etc. [...]  READ MORE →

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Construction Laws in Strata Communities

Construction laws and processes affecting strata and community schemes

Recently, we have received various enquiries about construction laws, proposed design and construction contracts and building contracts especially those affecting strata schemes. Basically, complex construction works are needed to be done involving the owners/developers (more commonly called Principals in the realm of construction laws), architects, builders, subcontractors, surveyors, superintendents etc. What do all these mean? We cover some of the basic issues below. [...]  READ MORE →

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Further extension of Covid-19 laws for strata and community schemes

From 21 July 2021, owners corporations and community associations can once again hold meetings and vote electronically (eg. teleconference, video-conferencing/Zoom, email etc), that is, even if the schemes have not previously resolved to allow them. And yes, these include strata/executive committee meetings.

The existing regulations on executing documents without the common seal and serving notices of meetings via email will also remain. Witness to the affixing of the common seal can be done via audio visual link. The new extension will be in force until 20 January 2022. [...]  READ MORE →

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Strata – COVID Stay at Home Orders

Covid stay-at-home orders and what is “at home” for strata lot owners/occupier?

All of you should (or are deemed) to know, there are various health orders currently in-force due to Covid. We often hear the requirements to “stay at home”. But it is a timely reminder to consider again what is a home for strata lot owners or occupiers?

As most strata owners should know, they own the “airspace” insider their unit/apartment but also co-own the entire strata building and the common properties with the other owners as per their unit entitlements. So, is the nice looking patio downstairs a part of your home? Normally, yes. But please, use some common sense, not for covid / isolation purposes! The Parliamentary intention is that people should isolate at home, as much as they can away from other people etc. Good luck! [...]  READ MORE →

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Short Term Letting Restrictions

Short-term letting restrictions and how they impact you

As most of you would know, short term lettings in strata units and houses were causing a big fuss some years ago. Then, there were the debates (including parliamentary debates) as to whether these should be permitted, prohibited or permitted with conditions. Even now, we hear about the massive out of control Airbnb parties from time to time. Then again, there are the many success stories behind these passive income gems. So, where are we at now? [...]  READ MORE →

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Property Law Tested by Developer

Jobema Developments Pty Limited is the first developer to test the new property law introduced by the Conveyancing Amendment (Sunset Clauses) Act 2015, which requires vendors to either obtain the consent of purchasers before they can rescind an off-the-plan contract in reliance on a sunset clause in the contract, or to obtain the permission of the Supreme Court to do so.


In this case, Jobema, the defendant, purchased a development site from Xycom, who had exchanged a number of off-the-plan contracts with a sunset date for the registration of the strata plan of 31 December 2015. As part of the purchase, Jobema would assume Xycom’s obligations under the exchanged off-the-plan contracts, one of which was with Mr Wu. [...]  READ MORE →

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Changes to Property Laws – Strata

The Conveyancing (Legislation) Amendment Act 2018 introduces changes that will provide better protection for purchasers buying property off the plan and more flexibility to those using electronic land contracts and deeds.

Off the plan Contracts:
An off the plan contract is used to sell a property such as a strata unit without its own separate title, given the property does not exist at the time contracts are exchanged.

Off the plan contracts can be beneficial to both property developers and purchasers. For property developers, finance is generally dependent on the percentage of lots that have been pre-sold. [...]  READ MORE →

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Changes to Short-Term Rental Accommodations – Is the Holiday Over

The Department of Planning and Environment is currently in the process to introduce state-wide planning framework for Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) following reforms provided to the Fair Trading Act 1987 (NSW) and Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) at the end of 2018.

The changes proposed are as a result of the ever growing easily accessible holiday rental market whereby STRA in New South Wales initially compromised of a voluntary Code of Conduct – Holiday Rental Code of Conduct – originally adopted in 2012. [...]  READ MORE →