The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) said the amendments to the state’s Strata Titles Act 1985 will be able to help the industry adapt to the changes in housing preferences.

The strata reforms, which are poised to take effect starting next month, will also introduce new land development options that can help drive economic growth in the state, according to REIWA.

REIWA said the amendments will help improve buyer information, dispute resolution, and the process for scheme termination.

Under the changes, agents will be required to provide buyers with an exhaustive list of information using a single form. The list will include the following:

  • Estimated strata levy contributions over a 12-month period
  • The most recent statement of accounts of the strata scheme 
  • Any amount already owed to the strata company by the current lot owner
  • The minutes from the most recent annual general meeting of the strata company or any extraordinary general meeting that’s been held since
  • A full set of the scheme’s by-laws
  • Information about any termination proposal received by the strata company

In terms of disputes, the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) will be given broader powers to oversee and enforce by-laws.

The amendments to the strata laws will also provide a fairer process for scheme termination, allowing for majority approvals in some schemes. With these changes, schemes with four lots or less should have a unanimous decision for the termination to push through. For schemes with more than five lots, safeguards should be in place before proceeding with a termination. The SAT will conduct an independent review if there are dissenting owners.

The reforms will also introduce leasehold strata title, which is a built strata or survey-strata scheme that has a fixed term of between 20 to 99 years. Plans for leasehold strata schemes can be lodged with Landgate.

REIWA said this will be used to provide affordable housing in strategic sites.

More information about the changes can be found here. To view the amendments, check out these links: Strata Titles Act and Strata Titles Act General Regulations.