Welcome to the Autumn 2016 edition of Illawarra Strata Management’s quarterly newsletter.
In this edition we are covering some of the changes to the Strata Schemes Management Act that are coming in to effect from 1st July 2016. The information is in no way comprehensive.
If there is anything you would like included in one of our upcoming newsletters, please do not hesitate to ask.
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT WITH THE LEGISLATIVE CHANGES …?
Here’s a brief summary on some of the key changes.
Once the legislation is in place, your agent will need to disclose certain information to you such as insurance commissions. We are already doing this and implemented that disclosure a couple of years back when we first were aware of this change.
Another legislative change is the restriction on agents to insist on long term contracts. For new buildings, the limit is 12 months, and for subsequent contracts, that will be limited to 3 years.
It is proposed to allow for electronic attendance at meetings. This should include skype and other methods such as GoToMeeting.
In addition, the rules on proxies are changing. Lot owners and developers will no longer be able to proxy farm, which means increased fairness for voting. The downside to this means for larger schemes, it will be quite difficult to achieve a quorum. This is why it is important to attend your Annual General Meeting. It’s only once a year, and generally only runs for an hour.
Mandatory Defect Inspection Reports & Building Bonds
The proposed legislation changes allows for greater protection of owners for newly constructed buildings. The idea behind this move is to increase consumer protection if a new building has defective work. The bond will maintain developer and builder accountability for their work.
The bond will be 2% of the contract price of the building. The Developer will also need to prepare a maintenance schedule to be tabled at the first AGM. Developers will be required to engage an independent building inspector to prepare a defect inspection report (at their cost) between 12 & 18 months after completion.
The reforms will provide clearer more appropriate approvals for owner renovations. Certain restrictions will be waived for minor cosmetic changes. Items such as flooring changes will only require 50% approval at a full meeting rather than the previously required 75%.
The reform will address smoke drift and the issue surrounding pet ownership will also undergo an overhaul. A big change will be relating to the unauthorised use of the visitor car park and fines will be increasing.
As you can see, there are a number of key changes that are coming into place. The changes are exciting and we hope you can see the benefit of the reform to the legislation.
When it comes to Strata Schemes, clear communication is imperative and it’s important to remember how many “relationships” exist within this one entity:
Strata Manager <-> Owners Corporation
Strata Manager <-> Individual Owner
Strata Manager <-> Executive Committee
Executive Committee <-> Owners Corporation
Executive Committee <-> Residents
Strata Manager <-> Property Manager
Individual Owners <-> Property Manager
Strata Manager <-> Contractor
Executive Committee <-> Contractor
Individual Owner <-> Contractor
And the list goes on… We are always trying to improve our communications with you.
AND A THANK YOU TO YOU>>>>
We are in our 14th year of trading. We’d like to thank you for being a part of our journey and hope you continue with us for many years to come.
We are not JUST offering you Strata Management Services. We are offering you PEACE OF MIND…..
The Owner’s Portal
So many owners are still unaware that they can access various documents via the Owner’s Portal.
Access to the portal is via our website www.illawarrastrata.com.au. Click on Resources, click on Owner’s Portal and then enter your personal passwords etc.
As a lot owner, these are the things you can expect to see on the portal include:
- The registered strata plan
- The certificate of Title
- The by Laws for your building
- Minutes and Agenda’s
- Annual financial documents
- Your current balance for levies including the due date
- The balance of the trust account.
As a committee member, you’ll get access to additional information including:
- Executive Committee Meeting Minutes & Agendas.
- More complex financial documents, such as Cash Management Reports
- Documents that may be subject to privilege (NCAT documents and the like.
Please familiarise yourself with the portal as there is a lot of information available to you 24 hours a day.
This is also the forum to change your personal details including address, phone number and email address.