Debate rages around NSW strata reform


Debate rages around NSW strata reform

Posted on Wednesday, September 16 2015 at 3:06 PM

The New South Wales chapter of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) says scare tactics and misinformation are being used to argue against strata reform in the state.

The public
consultation period has passed for the draft strata reform bills released in
July this year, and the NSW Department of Fair Trading is now reviewing the

Among the
legislation is a controversial proposal whereby only 75 per cent of a body
corporate need agree to redevelop a strata property.

Concerns that
dissenting residents will be “thrown onto the streets” are unfounded, according
to UDIA NSW chief executive Stephen Albin.

“One thing
people need to be aware of is this strata reform is not retrospective,” he

“It will
apply only to existing strata committees if they choose to sign on to it, and
it will apply to strata committees that are established post the introduction
of the reforms.”

Albin also
argues that the collective sale of a strata building would take years to
achieve, and there’ll be occasion for residents to appeal.

“The sale
would have to go through courts and those in opposition will have the
opportunity to argue their case.”

his comments are unlikely to have allayed the fears of groups such as the
Council on the Ageing (COTA) NSW.

Ian Day,
the CEO of COTA NSW, says it’s not just property owners that should be

“While Fair
Trading assure us they will provide support to owners who are in effect ‘forced
to move’, these bills – if passed – will have negative unintended consequences
for renters, who number about 50 per cent of occupants in older strata title

“The strata
title unit blocks likely to be affected by these laws are among the few
remaining affordable housing options in Sydney, the world’s third most
expensive housing market.

“One in
five pensioners rent.

“It seems
that the government has given no thought to what will become of them once these
bills hasten the process of selling old unit blocks to developers for renewal.”

called on the state government to appoint a Minister for Housing to take charge
of the issue.


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