- What is strata management?
- NSW strata management acts & laws
- Why do we need strata?
- How are strata disputes resolved?
Whether you’re the first home buyer of a unit or you manage a strata group, it’s crucial that you understand what strata management is and what it means for you. Strata laws can be complicated, but an experienced strata lawyer can guide you. At Owen Hodge, our property lawyers are here to answer any and all questions relating to strata. Read on to learn more or get in touch with our team today.
What is strata management?
Strata management relates to the everyday operation and management of a property having multiple owners made up of a number of units, shared areas and common facilities. Strata management is also referred to as ‘body corporate management’.
NSW strata management acts & laws
There are a number of NSW strata laws and management acts. These include:
- Strata Schemes (Freehold Development) Act 1973;
- Strata Schemes (Leasehold Development) Act 1986;
- Strata Schemes Legislation Amendment Act 2001;
- Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2010;
- Strata Schemes Management Amendment Act 2002;
- Community Land Development Act 1989;
- Community Land Management Act 1989; and
- Property Stock and Business Agents Act 2002.
Why do we need strata management?
The purpose of strata management is to manage and maintain the common property. This includes: maintenance, repairs, finances, insurances, records and administration of the strata scheme. For example, this could be maintenance of shared fences and gardening of common areas. They can also introduce and enforce by-laws, such as allowing pets or sub-letting.
Can strata refuse pets in NSW?
Under new laws a strata scheme’s owners corporation can only refuse to allow an animal into the strata scheme if that animal unreasonably interferes with another resident’s use and enjoyment of their lot or the common property. An owners corporation can also take steps to prohibit an animal that is being kept in the scheme if the animal causes a nuisance, hazard or unreasonable interference.
Under these new laws, a blanket ban on any animals in a strata scheme is considered invalid.
How can strata lawyers help?
Whether you’re dealing with a strata dispute or just want to understand your rights, a strata lawyer can provide you with sound legal advice and guide you through the nuances of strata laws. They can also assist you with:
- Strata management amendments
- Strata disputes
- Strata by-laws & how they are interpreted
- Building defect disputes
- General strata advice
- Management rights
- Levy recovery
How are strata disputes resolved?
When individuals who reside in a strata scheme disagree, there are a number of dispute resolution options available for them. The first step for any disagreement is to try and speak to the offending party and discuss the issue, however if that fails the following dispute resolution steps could provide success.
- Internal Dispute Resolution
Your strata corporation may have its own internal dispute resolution process to deal with minor disputes. Many issues can be worked out within a friendly, informal discussion or by speaking about the issue at the owners corporation meeting.
- Compliance Notice
If the issue regards a breach of the strata by-laws, then the owners corporation can choose to issue a Notice to Comply to the person who is breaching the by-laws. If this notice is ignored then the dispute could be escalated to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) which can choose to issue fines.
If parties are struggling to find common ground to reach an agreement, then independent mediation can be an ideal way to arrive at a resolution. This is particularly useful for disputes that occur between an owner and the owners corporation.
- Tribunal Hearings
Where an issue isn’t easily resolved by a mediation, an application can be made to NCAT to have it brought before a Tribunal hearing for a definitive decision. Certain issues can’t be accepted at a tribunal hearing unless the mediation process has been fully explored first.
If you have any questions about this process, please contact the strata dispute lawyers at Owen Hodge.
Speak to Owen Hodge’s strata lawyers
Owen Hodge’s strata conveyancing and legal team is here for you. We have years of experience dealing with various property matters, so you can trust us to handle your case with professionalism, understanding and expertise. Call our lawyers or conveyancers on 1800 770 780 to schedule an initial consultation.
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