The most significant changes to strata in over 20 years have been confirmed following the passage of the Strata Titles Amendment Bill 2018 and the Community Titles Bill 2018 on 1 November 2018 and 6 November 2018 respectively.
What happens now?
Landgate’s focus will now be on completing the regulations to support the amended Strata Titles Act 1985 and the new Community Titles Act 2018. Landgate will continue consulting with public, government, industry and community stakeholders on those regulations.
How to stay informed
For further information on the reforms, refer to the updated strata reform webpages.
New Commonwealth Government legislation came into effect on 1 July 2017 requiring more information to be provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) when ownership of a property changes. This applies to all buyers and sellers across Australia. The requirements are a COAG initiative to enable the ATO to develop consistent and comparable datasets in the national database, which will reduce tax error and increase tax compliance.
Every state and territory is implementing the data collection in accordance with individual state legislation. In Western Australia this initiative has been led by Landgate, supported by the Office of State Revenue.
Leaks can be extremely wasteful and costly. Regularly checking taps, pipes and fittings around your property could save precious water and precious money!
In this series of articles on the Strata Titles Act Reform project, we are bringing you details of the amendments that will impact strata communities across Western Australia. Our previous articles and online videos have already covered other areas of the reforms including:
the new forms of strata: community title schemes and leasehold strata
clearer and easier ways to resolve disputes
terminations of schemes
staged strata development.
Watch this presentation for an overview of the proposed strata reforms.
The WA Government has given Landgate responsibility for delivering reforms to Western Australia's Strata Titles Act 1985.
The proposed reforms aim to provide more flexible and sustainable housing options to benefit developers, strata owners, investors, residents and tenants. They aim to improve the way strata schemes work but not to change current strata owners' land titles and boundaries.
On the cusp of strata reform, Community title might affect you and your strata titled property.
By Phil McCarroll | 19 Jan 2016 08:00 AM
The overhaul of legislation covering strata agreements in Western Australia would be a positive for the state, according to property professionals and lobby groups.
The overhaul has been in the pipeline for a number of years, with the reform and consultation process beginning in 2013, but a statement on the Landgate (Western Australian Land Information Authority) website claims the new legislation will be introduced in the second half of 2016.
According to the Landgate statement, the proposed reforms will cover five main areas.
Long-awaited reforms to strata laws in Western Australia promise to have a dramatic impact upon the state’s urban landscapes by fostering the creation of dense infill developments and raising the sustainability of the built environment.
Amendments to Western Australia’s strata laws have long been waiting in the wings, with the Barnett government flagging reforms toward the end of 2013 in the wake of the NSW’s government’s unveiling of proposed overhauls to its own system.
The proposed changes that are being currently prepared by Landgate – Western Australia’s statutory authority for property and land information – seek to address rapid changes in the state’s real estate market, including anticipated population gains and a rapid expansion in strata-style property arrangements.
“By 2031, WA will be home to more than 3.5 million people and we need to prepare for the increased demand for affordable and sustainable housing – including more cost-effective urban infill developments and community living options,” said Landgate chief executive Mike Bradford.
“Proposed reforms…aim to make shared living and working communities more attractive. They consider ways to provide more options for owning title to land and buildings; encourage an improved standard of service from strata companies; and propose better management and dispute resolution processes.”
Chief among the reforms is fostering the development of large-scale mixed-use urban developments via the introduction of community title schemes to Western Australia.
Community title schemes are essentially expansions upon standard strata arrangements that are aimed at more complex residential developments that encompass a broader range of facilities and infrastructure.
In addition to creating common property, community title schemes can bundle together a multitude of urban services and function under the one unitary arrangement, including roads, parks, litter disposal, maintenance of gardens and nature strips, as well as certain utilities.
They have emerged in recent years as one of the most rapidly expanding segments of Australia’s housing sector, conferring developers with the ability to create their own cohesive, large-scale communities.
The schemes have already been widely deployed in NSW, where there are approximately 1,500 community schemes in a variety of different themes and environments.
According Joe Lenzo, executive director of the Property Council of Australia, the introduction of community titles to Western Australia will abet the creation of larger, mixed-use developments.
“Community titles will encourage larger scale precinct-style housing developments to occur in WA, similar to other states,” said Lenzo. “This include more mixed use development around suburban centres and strategic infrastructure investments like train stations.”
The reforms could further spur urban renewal initiatives by facilitating the termination of existing strata schemes via alterations to inflexible voting arrangements.
Landgate has proposed that voting requirements for the termination of strata schemes be revised in order to pave the way for future urban development.
“Town planners and developers have asked for more flexible arrangements to end schemes to facilitate planning strategy of urban renewal and urban infill, especially where zoning arrangements are changed, to permit increased density and development around transport hubs,” said Landgate’s discussion paper.
Under current regulations, the termination of a strata scheme requires the approval of all lot owners, meaning that each party possesses a veto right over such a decision.
Landgate contends that such an arrangement is undemocratic as well as unwieldy, given the power it confers upon any demurring groups in the minority.
“At the moment a single owner can prevent sale or redevelopment of the land in the strata scheme against the wishes of the majority,” said Landgate’s discussion paper. “There is an argument that democracy and a majority vote to terminate should prevail over the wishes of a dissenting minority.”
Proposed reforms to the voting rules for strata schemes also promise to boost the sustainability of WA’s built environments by making it easier to obtain the go-ahead for retrofits.
Under the slated reforms, only a majority vote would be required to green-light alterations to building structures that affect shared or adjacent properties.
This would make it far easier to approve sustainability retrofits such as the installation of solar PV panels, particularly compared to the current system under which each stakeholder possesses veto power over proposed changes.
Chris Tallentire, opposition spokesperson for lands, noted that such reforms would help remove roadblocks to sustainability initiatives that the existing voting system can create.
“If one person wants to put photovoltaic panels on the roof now, for example, they need permission from everyone in the building to do it,” he said.
SOURCE:https://sourceable.net/strata-reforms-change-face-urban-wa/ or contact A1 Conveyancing to discuss your title transaction needs.
Keep me updated, join us here...