Strata laws must change for Sydney’s urban future

16 September 2012

The current Strata Laws in NSW must be amended so that 75% of owners of apartments can ensure that substandard buildings can be significantly refurbished or sold to allow redevelopment, says the Urban Taskforce.


“The current law that requires 100% of strata members to agree on a sale is stopping the renewal of ageing apartment buildings and their replacement by new building stock.” says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson


“Around the world there are lower percentages for body corporates to agree to a building sale with the UK having an 80% requirement and Singapore’s collective sale model requiring 80% for buildings over 10 years old.”


“The current NSW law has a 75% requirement for a Special Resolution and this would seem to be an appropriate percentage to allow the termination of a strata scheme.”


“We cannot let one or two apartment owners, in an old and decaying building, hold the rest of the owners to ransom by requiring an inflated sale price. Clearly, all owners must achieve a fair price on an equal basis related to the amenity of the apartment.”


“The NSW strata system led the world when it was introduced in 1961 but it is in need of updating.”


“It is important for all apartment owners to understand that they are part of a system of collective decision making, which is quite different to owning an individual lot of land with its own house.”


“Sydney, according to the 2011 census, already has 27.6% of households as apartments and this is likely to increase as more people want to live closer to work and to amenities. By 2031 apartments could be up to 50% of all Sydney households.”


“In the 1960’s and 1970’s many substandard strata flat buildings were built that have now reached their use-by date. They need to be demolished to allow the next generation of well designed apartments to replace them in new urban consolidation precincts. The city’s future must not be determined by a few greedy individuals wanting to hold out for a lottery like windfall.”


” The Urban Taskforce is supportive of the discussion paper issued by the Department of Fair Trading and believes that the long term future of Sydney’s built form must not be compromised by remaining with the 100% requirement for terminating existing strata schemes.”


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