Pets, smoking, car parking and a slew of new rules relevant to strata management were unveiled under the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 on Friday.
The new regulations and changes provide some insight into how NSW’s reformed strata laws will operate come November 30.
Pets are here to stay
Great news for pet owners: approval to have an animal stay in a property cannot be “unreasonably withheld”, according to the new bylaws. If an owners corporation wants to deny a pet request, they will have to do so in writing and with good reason. On the other hand, occupiers have 14 days to declare their furry roommate. Any claims that pets are ‘assistance animals’ may have to be backed up with written confirmation.
Following several headlines over the past year detailing disputes over cigarette smoke seeping into lots and disturbing inhabitants, new bylaw regulations have acknowledged the phenomena as a hazard. In the bylaw options, smoking on common property could be banned altogether or limited to designated smoking areas but smoke must not seep into lots.
Car parking (dis)agreements
New agreements can be made between local councils and owners corporations regarding common property and strata parking.
One addition is the tiered permission model put in place for renovations within a property. While owners are free to go through with “minor renovations”, anything considered a more permanent change, like new flooring or renovations that involve a property’s infrastructure will need varying degrees of voter approval.
Proxy votes and management notes
On the topic of voting, one contentious aspect has been addressed in the new document – proxy votes. They are still allowed to occur but now instead of owners wasting their votes once proxy holders have exceeded their max, they can add an alternative name to their vote.
For strata managers, they have also been asked to make sure they disclose any conflicts of interest and contracts now seem to be limited to one year for the first year and three years thereafter. The elusive ten-year extension could become even more elusive.
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