Thursday, 26 November 2020
Update on Strata reform
Members practicing in conveyancing, property law or strata-related matters should be aware that there have been a number of recent legislative changes relating to strata reform and associated conveyancing requirements. Whilst members should familiarise themselves with the new legislation, the Property Law Committee notes that some of the changes include:
- Two years of minutes are now ‘required documents’ in a residential contract of sale for all unit types (not just class A units).
- If a unit is an adaptable housing dwelling, then drawings and plans demonstrating compliance with Australian Standard AS 4299-1995 (Adaptable Housing) as in force from time are now ‘required documents’ in a residential contract of sale. Note that the Society is seeking urgent clarification from the ACT Government’s Strata Reform Team in relation to how a unit can be identified as being an adaptable housing dwelling. Unfortunately, the Strata Reform Team is yet to clarify how these drawings and plans are able to be obtained, and the Society is continuing to press for further clarification.
- The content of a unit title certificate (i.e. a section 119 certificate) has now been expanded, although the statutory fee has not increased (although this fee may increase in due course).
- Owners corporations are now required to provide updated certificates at no fee.
- A new developer disclosure regime has come into effect, however this is on an ‘opt-in’ basis pursuant to the transitional provisions until 1 July 2021, when the new requirements will become mandatory (other than in particular circumstances). Members are encouraged to carefully read the transitional provisions with a view to determining how they apply to a particular development, which will be a question of fact.
The Strata Reform Team has provided some information regarding the reforms on the ACT Government website. However, members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the detail of the new legislation, rather than simply relying on the website information.