Following years of consultation and review, strata law reforms have finally come into effect in New South Wales.

John Cunningham, president of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW), said over 90 new strata laws will make a difference to the lives of those living in the state.

“These reforms will benefit owners, tenants and property managers and bring the laws in line with current thinking,” he said. “They recognise the changes that have been made in technology in the last 25 years with voting now available electronically, via Skype calls and by email.

“Everyday improvements like hanging pictures; coat hooks and filling cracks can go ahead and kitchen or bathroom renovations, installing timber or tile floors and replacing wiring or power points no longer need a special resolution by-law.”

The reforms, which went into effect on 30 November, reflect the realities of managing and living in strata buildings in the 21st century. According to Cunningham, landlords may be held liable to their tenants for second hand smoke exposure.

Owner corporations can also create by-laws banning smoking throughout the entire strata building. Orders against residents who smoke or allow their cigarette or barbeque smoke to drift into other units can also be enforced.

Animal lovers would be glad to know that the reforms make the keeping of pets in strata buildings easier. A request to keep a pet in the unit can no longer be unreasonably refused.

“Owners will be able to appeal to the [NSW Civil and Administrative Affairs Tribunal] if they believe the request was unreasonably withheld,” Cunningham said. “Reviewing and updating legislation is vital to ensuring that it keeps pace with [a] changing society. We look forward to continued amendments to strata legislation over the coming years.”

Related stories:

NSW’s Modernised Strata Laws Benefit Investor Owners

NSW Strata Laws Hold Big Changes For Sydney