- Pet fees and bonds to be banned effective immediately.
- Owners must reveal conflicts of interest in strata renewal process.
- The Bill also tightens regulations on strata and association committees.
Fees and bonds to keep pets in strata properties will now be banned thanks to new New South Wales (NSW) Government legislation. Yesterday, the State Government presented 31 reforms, making it easier for pets and their owners to live in strata communities or community land schemes.
Making life easier for pet owners
Effective immediately, the Strata Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 (the Bill) makes crucial alterations to how strata communities function and improve the transparency of strata and association committees.
“More than one million people live in strata communities in NSW. With 50% of Greater Sydney residents expected to live in a strata complex by 2040, it is important we get these changes made now to provide residents with security for themselves and their furry friends,” said NSW Strata and Property Services Commissioner, John Minns.
“The new Bill makes important changes for residents and clarifies rules and requirements for owners and committees,” he said.
“Owners, renters, and organisations called for change, and we are listening.”
John Minns, NSW Strata and Property Services Commissioner
“The benefits of these reforms should be felt immediately.”
Pet owners will now rest easy knowing they will not be charged a fee, bond, or insurance by an owner’s corporation for keeping a pet in their strata property.
Additionally, it will be easier for individuals living with assistance animals to demonstrate their animal’s ‘assistance’ status to an owner’s corporation.
More transparency in strata processes
The Bill will facilitate more transparency in the strata renewal process by increasing requirements to divulge conflicts of interest and eliminating loopholes allowing for manipulation.
Owners must reveal if they have a financial or other interest in the strata renewal proposal, such as a familial relationship, or if they have made a competing offer to purchase the building.
Strata and association committees are crucial to producing a liveable community, managing budgets, funds, building insurance, and record keeping. Comprising representatives handpicked by owners in the strata scheme, the committees are also charged with resolving issues and disputes.
The Bill also strengthens regulations concerning strata and association committee members, reducing voting thresholds for removing members and restricting when removed members are eligible to serve again.
Further changes include needing at least two quotes for proposed work valued over $30,000 and the ability for owner’s corporations to demand levy payments within a fourteen-day period for emergency repairs.
The Bill was created through joint consultation with several organisations and experts including Animal Care Australia, the Strata Community Association, Tenants Union NSW, and the Owners Corporation Network.