Changes To Strata Laws Receives Royal Assent

Changes To Strata Laws Receives Royal Assent

Western Australia Minister for Lands Rita Saffioti

Strata Reforms Now Law Following Gazettal Of Legislation

Victor P Taffa

  • Modern and clear legislation to provide a simpler, more transparent and accountable strata framework for Western Australia
  • Reform will open up new housing and commercial opportunities and support economic growth through new types of strata schemes
  • Biggest reforms to strata in Western Australia history will transform and modernise strata living and investing

Historic reforms to Western Australia’s strata legislation the most significant changes to strata in over 20 years are now law after receiving Royal Assent yesterday (November 19).

“These much-needed reforms are the culmination of years of consultation and consideration, with additional safeguards for owners and buyers included since the McGowan Government took office.” Minister for Lands Rita Saffioti said.

“Strata subdivisions comprise roughly half of all new lots created in Western Australia, generating more than $10 Billion of sales annually. Strata properties are not just residential units and apartments, they include retail and industrial units as well.”

Reforms provide strata owners, occupiers and developers with a simpler, more transparent and accountable framework for owning, living in, or building strata and survey-strata schemes in Western Australia.

Reforms will enable a range of improvements to the management of strata schemes and offer fairer, simpler and cheaper dispute resolution, with the State Administrative Tribunal as the one-stop-shop for strata disputes.

Dispute resolution processes under the former legislation made it difficult and, in many cases, costly for people in strata to resolve their disputes. The amended legislation provides clear pathways through which matters can be heard and resolved. 

Transparency and accountability are a major focus of the reforms. Strata managers will be regulated to ensure they are accountable to their client, the strata company. Strata companies will have the power to terminate strata management contracts and obtain compensation where the strata manager breaches their statutory duties.

“Reforms to strata legislation will benefit those who live in, own, manage, develop or are considering purchasing strata property.” Minister Saffioti said.

“Reforms give owners, buyers and the development industry a clear, transparent and accountable framework for creating and managing strata schemes.”

Under the new legislation, owners and occupiers will have more of a say in how their scheme is run. It also introduces a number of safeguards for strata owners, through a clear, transparent, majority scheme termination process.

Process will require a full procedural and fairness review, ensuring objecting owners are no worse off and receive fair market value for their lot; or a like-for-like replacement property nearby if desired. Additionally, there are safeguards to protect and better inform vulnerable owners if a termination of their strata scheme is proposed.

 

2 New Forms Of Strata Ownership

These reforms will see the introduction of 2 new forms of strata ownership to Western Australia Leasehold and Community schemes. Community schemes and Leasehold schemes will make it easier to build the type of vibrant, diverse, liveable communities the State needs to thrive, including those envisioned for the METRONET station precincts.

Leasehold Schemes

Leasehold schemes will provide greater options for the delivery of affordable housing and development of strategic sites, such as those around railway stations and near major transport corridors.

Community Schemes

Community schemes will provide for greater co-ordination of development, at scale making it easier to build the type of vibrant, diverse, liveable communities envisioned as part of the METRONET station precinct vision.

Together these new forms of strata will help deliver a greater diversity of housing, as well as better integration of land and building uses to help ensure that our suburbs cater for all people through their changing needs and life stages.

Work is now well underway on the regulations associated with these Acts, which will be key to delivering the many benefits of these reforms. Landgate is working closely with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and other agencies key to the implementation of the reforms, to ensure a comprehensive set of regulations are delivered to Parliament during 2019.