Sydney Strata Lawyers

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How can we help?

  1. How can Owen Hodge’s Strata Lawyers help?
  2. Strata management amendments
  3. Strata disputes
  4. Strata by-laws & how they are interpreted
  5. Building defect disputes

Whether you’re the first home buyer of a unit or 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 experienced strata title lawyers can guide you. At Owen Hodge, our property lawyers are here to answer any questions relating to strata. Read on to learn more or get in touch with our team today.

How can Owen Hodge’s Strata Lawyers help?

Owen Hodge’s Strata specialists can help with the following things:

  • Strata management amendments
  • Strata disputes
  • Strata by-laws & how they are interpreted
  • Building defect disputes
  • General strata advice
  • Management rights
  • Strata Management Schemes

Strata management amendments

  • Under the Strata Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 launch, changes have been made to the four key Acts regulating strata and community lands schemes.
  • The changes aim to improve the lives of everyone living in strata by addressing pain points that have been raised in recent years during public consultation. 
  • The changes impact key areas of strata management including renewal processes, conflict of interest disclosure requirements, pets, financial management, and by-laws.

Strata disputes

Disputes among strata title owners or residents, as well as between them and the owner’s corporation, can arise occasionally. If unable to resolve these issues, there are specific steps to follow. These are outlined below.

Strata by-laws & how they are interpreted

By-laws are regulations that every resident in a strata scheme must adhere to, ensuring safety and fairness for all. These rules are established by the owner’s corporation, which can choose to adopt model by-laws, create custom ones, or a combination of both. Typical by-laws cover areas such as pet ownership, smoking, short-term rentals like Airbnb, parking regulations, and noise problems.

Building defect disputes

NSW Fair Trading offers a free complaint handling service for homeowners and others dissatisfied with home building work, covering houses, multi-unit dwellings, and specialist trade work in residential or commercial buildings.

This service addresses complaints related to the Home Building Act 1989, including statutory warranties for major and minor defects. Before lodging a complaint, individuals should attempt to resolve the issue directly with the contractor or builder. If the resolution is not possible, homeowners or owners’ corporations can file a complaint at their nearest Service NSW centre. Building practitioners can also report concerns about defects or work quality during construction. Fair Trading’s complaint handling service often precedes legal action, providing an opportunity for resolution outside of court or tribunal proceedings.

General strata advice

For general strata advice, the NSW Land Registry Services are able to assist.

Management rights

Strata Manager

A strata manager holds the highest authority among management roles and has the unique power to enforce by-laws. They are responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of the strata, assisting the owner’s corporation with legal obligations including coordinating meetings, preparing budgets, issuing levies, handling payments, and managing insurance. Strata managers often serve as the main point of contact for owners.

Building Manager

A building manager oversees maintenance of common property, including lawn and garden care, minor repairs, and ensuring general safety, including fire safety measures and occasional condition reports. They typically serve as the main contact for on-site contractors.

Property Manager

A property manager oversees rental leases for landlords, handling tasks such as inspections, move-outs, bonds, and evictions. They communicate strata-related issues raised by tenants to the strata manager or owner, as tenants usually do not interact directly with the strata manager. Property managers serve as the main point of contact for tenants.

Strata Management Schemes

A strata title (or scheme) is a way that individuals or companies can communally own properties such as units, townhouses, warehouses, factories etc. This term essentially describes how the legal ownership of a property has been divided up into lots.

Strata schemes can be used for both residential and commercial purposes, and in NSW there are around 75,000 of them. When creating a strata scheme, you must establish a Strata Management Statement, an Ownership Corporation and also abide by strata management law. To understand what this entails, keep reading.

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Strata Management Lawyers

Greg Worrall

Licensed Conveyancer

Karen Cho

Property Lawyer

Kristy Hatcher

Wills & Estate Litigation Lawyer

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Frequently Asked Questions

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 owner’s 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.

When individuals in a strata scheme disagree, there are several 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.

1. 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 owner’s corporation meeting.

2. Compliance Notice

If the issue regards a breach of the strata by-laws, then the owner’s 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.

3. Mediation

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 owner’s corporation.

4. Tribunal Hearings

Where an issue isn’t easily resolved by 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 specialist strata title lawyers at Owen Hodge.