The introduction of new laws covering strata agreements in New South Wales has been described as sloppy, after the release of a report questioning the benefits of some changes.
In October, the Strata Scheme Management Bill and Strata Scheme Development Bill passed through NSW Parliament containing more than 90 changes to how strata agreements in the state are governed.
Under the changes, only 75% of the owners within an apartment block need to agree before the entire block can be sold.
Prior to the introduction of the laws, many believed that change would be a positive
as it would lead to urban renewal and allow owners to move on from buildings that have been poorly maintained and do not have the required funds for maintenance.
But according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald
, a recently published report by the University of NSW City Futures Research Centre has raised questions about what benefit the provision easing sale requirements will have.
“Some doubts also emerged about whether strata renewal would actually deliver desired urban planning outcomes, or simply facilitate unaffordable, high‐end developments or renewed gentrification," the report said.
According to the article in the SMH, the report recommends there should be a tiered voting threshold based on a scheme size and that a minimum of 80% of owners should have to agree before a unit block is sold.
NSW Shadow Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Peter Primrose told the SMH that the government should have waited for the report, which was partially funded by UrbanGrowth NSW and NSW Fair Trading, before introducing the laws to parliament.
“You should be making legislation based on best information – it seems really sloppy. I don't know why they didn't wait," Primrose said.
“This is a comprehensive report, it's really good data that should have been taken into account,” he said.
A spokesperson for NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Victor Dominello, defended the 75% requirement and said safeguards had been put in place to protect vulnerable residents.
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