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New Strata Laws: 6 Changes That Will Most Affect Apartment Residents And Owners

By Silvia Wei

There were more than 90 proposed changes to strata laws announced by the NSW Government this month – some are big changes in the concept of property ownership, others are tweaks and finesses to existing laws, by-laws and rules.

But what were the changes, announced by Fair Trading Minister Victor Dominello, that will affect ordinary strata residents – owners and tenants – most?

Owner Renovations
A more common-sense approach such as allowing owners to do minor renovations and cosmetic changes to their own units without needing approval from the owners.

Parking Control
Changes to enable greater control over unauthorised parking, such as the ability for owners’ corporations to enter into agreements with local councils to manage parking in common areas such as visitor parking spots.

Short-term Letting Issues
Short-term stay arrangements can tend to result in excess noise and overuse of common areas. The reforms allow owners corporations greater control in enforcing by-laws around these matters.

Overcrowding
Allows owners corporations to limit the number of people residing in a lot, as long as it is not less than two adults per bedroom.

Pet-keeping
Greater flexibility around pet ownership rather than automatic blanket bans. This includes considering each case on its merits.

Smoke Drift
Allows the owners corporation to enforce bans if nuisance smoke drift occurs, rather than leaving it up to individual unit owners. Of course this is not intended to result in banning all residents from smoking in their own units.

More detail can be found on the reforms at NSW Fair Trading website, including instructions on how to lodge a submission.

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