Challenging year ahead along with new legislation

The upcoming year promises significant opportunities for ARAMA members and management rights with both federal and state governments focussing on economic stimulation and growth programs.

The focus of state governments and the newly elected federal government on economic stimulation in key industries including tourism and on infrastructure and density living construction continues to place a greater focus on the management rights industry and the vital role of resident managers. One of the major initiatives for 2014 will be the debate and enactment of the new legislation that was introduced into state parliament to create a new act for property occupation to replace the PAMD Act that has been introduced by the attorney-general and minister for justice Jarrod Bleijie.

The new legislation will provide for the regulation of the activities, licensing and conduct of property agents, resident letting agents and their employees and to protect consumers against particular undesirable practices. This will also require amendments to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 and to make minor and consequential amendments. The minister has referred the bill to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee to consider before holding the parliamentary debate in March next year to progress the legislation process.

The new act is part of the state government’s program to reduce unnecessary red tape. It is important that governments continue to review legislation regularly to ensure that new initiatives in density living management can meet the needs of all stakeholders and to simplify regulations so that all parties can fully understand their rights and obligations. Whilst there are always going to be local and domestic issues in complexes, governments have recognised that the vast majority are living issues that can, in most incidences, be resolved by local rules and regulations.

When introducing the bill, Mr Bleijie said that, of course, resident managers will still be required to comply with their individual management rights contracts and agreements with relevant bodies corporate in relation to those matters.
ARAMA has worked directly with its members and other interested stakeholders over the last few years to deliver submissions directly to government to help bring about positive change in this regard. Industry studies have clearly indicated that the major issues of concern involve domestic management such a use of visitor parking, smoking, parties and pets.

ARAMA will continue to focus on our commitment to improving member services as well as our education program and increasingly heavy involvement in legislation review. State governments recognise the important role of property and accommodation administration in Australia and there are ongoing reviews of legislation and associated regulations that address strata communities, property, tenancy and body corporate law.

ARAMA is at the forefront of issuing detailed submissions to national, state and local government, and follow-up meetings with government ministers and bureaucrats, aimed at protecting and strengthening the management rights industry, and the small business owner-operator of management right businesses. To meet these challenges, ARAMA continues to work with resident managers and the management rights sector to foster a uniform approach to the industry issues.

Property investors in the management rights sector are re-entering the market in capital cities and key regional centres and are looking for greater certainty and consistency in the strata and community living laws throughout Australia. To this end, ARAMA will continue to ensure that while it remains across state, local and domestic issues, it will also be involved in the ongoing development and maturing of the management rights industry and its growing opportunities in all sectors.

ARAMA’s focus will be to continue to deliver direct services to members and ensure that along with our ongoing education programs members and their staffs are well equipped to ensure the delivery of long term quality service on behalf of owners, investors, tenants and holidaymakers. The growth of density living complexes throughout Australia as a result of the population increases and the desire of many Australians to reside and holiday in major centres have meant that there are increased challenges on resident managers in terms of service delivery and asset management. As a result ARAMA will continue to foster the support of the regular regional branch meetings with increased numbers of regional meetings with key industry advisors and an ongoing focus on member education and training.

The professional development challenges of 21st century living requires resident managers to be conscious of the all the opportunities to assist in responsible asset management and to maintain a sound working knowledge and delivery of the responsibilities that are prescribed in the various legislative and regulatory requirements.

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