The impact of the amendments to the Strata Titles Act 1985 will be substantial.
Developers will need to understand that contracts for the sale and purchase of strata / survey-strata lots entered into:
The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) is being given broad jurisdiction and greater powers to resolve strata disputes, including disputes which involved an event that occurred prior to Commencement Day.
The amended Act and the Regulations provide that where a developer varies a stage of subdivision as detailed in the staged subdivision by-laws, the consent of owners and interest holders will only be needed if:
A strata company must update its by-laws into a consolidated set when it changes its by-laws after Commencement Day. That update to the by-laws is required because the amended Act:
The amended Act specifies that the strata company must not act in ways that are unreasonable, oppressive, discriminatory or unfairly prejudicial.
The Regulations expand the types of Key Documents a developer needs to give to the strata company and those include documents relating to building defects.
Members of the council of the strata company (Council Members) will need to act in the best interests of the strata company, disclose a conflict of interest and not vote on a matter at a council meeting if they have a conflict of interest.
The amended Act will:
The Regulations specify that strata managers will need to undergo national criminal record checks, hold minimum professional indemnity insurance coverage of $1 million and complete a specified number of units from the Certificate IV in Strata Community Management.
The Regulations detail the requirements for the person seeking to terminate a strata / survey-strata scheme (Proponent) to provide funding to:
The amendments to the Strata Titles Act 1985 represent the most significant reforms to property law in Western Australia in the last 20 years.
The amended Act will impose new statutory duties on owners, Council Members, strata companies, developers and strata managers.
SAT’s jurisdiction to hear strata disputes will include the power to award damages with no upper limit for financial losses suffered as a result of a person breaching their statutory duties under the Act.
The amended Act will also provide many useful mechanisms to resolve existing problems in strata.
Obtaining specialist legal advice on how to comply with the amended Act will enable Developers, Council Members, strata managers, owners and strata companies to achieve the best outcomes from the strata reforms.
If you require any advice on strata management, strata disputes, subdivision of strata, seller disclosure or majority termination under the amended Strata Titles Act 1985, please contact Tim Morgan or Sean Macfarlane.