All Your Questions Answered

Have questions? Read more below to see if your Owners Corporation is safe and complying with the appropriate Act and Regulation.

Do you need a sinking fund forecast?

From July 2009 and under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 all Owners Corporations in New South Wales are required to have a 10 year sinking fund forecast. The Owners Corporation is to get an update of this sinking fund plan every fifth year. The Owners Corporation can put the plan together themselves or engage outside experts.

What type of meeting is required for a by-law to be presented and accepted?

A by-law must be presented as a special motion in a Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting. Under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 all owners must be able to vote on the by-law.

Do Annual General Meetings (AGM) need to be held yearly?

You are required to have an Annual General Meeting each year under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996, generally no more than 3 months after the end of the financial year, depending upon the type of property.

Do Executive Committees need to have a nominated Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer?

To achieve best practice in the management of your property, you should have an elected Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer on the Executive Committee as per Section 18 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996.

When do common property safety reports need to be completed?

All types of managed properties have an obligation to maintain and keep the common property in a good state of repair and free from hazards. Under the Work Safety Act 2011 your property needs to be a safe site for tradespeople who enter.

How often do you need an insurance valuation?

All Owners Corporations are required to have an insurance valuation carried out for the Common Property every 5 years, and it’s a good idea that all properties are regularly valued to avoid the property being undervalued.

When do you need an asbestos report?

All managed properties in Australia built prior to 2004 are required to maintain an Asbestos Register on site to make sure any trades persons who carry out work on site are aware of the asbestos affected areas. Make sure its on the noticeboard for all visitors and tradespersons visiting or working at the property.

Do I need to have window restrictors installed?

Clause 38 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulations requires that window safety devices must be installed by 2018 if; (a) it is a window within the meaning of the Building Code of Australia, and (b) it can be opened, and (c) the lowest level of the window opening is less than 1.7m above the surface of any internal floor that abuts the wall of which it forms part, and (d) that internal floor is 2m or more above the surface of any external surface below the window that abuts the wall.

When are the new Strata Reform Laws coming out?

On 27 October 2015, the NSW Parliament passed the Strata Scheme Management Bill 2015 and Strata Scheme Development Bill 2015. Before the new laws start in the second half of 2016 the government need to have; •new regulations developed and consulted on •key information developed for strata schemes •a comprehensive public awareness campaign will take place to make people aware of their new rights and responsibilities. We will advise our owners as soon as the new laws are in place.

I don't understand what section of my unit is the responsibility of the Strata plan?

The Department of Fair Trading produce a short fact sheet on who is responsible. Read more to access this. Should you want more refer to the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996.

What is the point of completing a proxy?

A proxy is a special form prescribed by the Regulations to make sure your personal vote counts even when not attending the meeting. Note: in a large scheme the proxy form must be in 24 hours before the meeting. (sch 2, part 2, clause 11). Otherwise present your proxy at the meeting prior to the meeting commencing. If you are the owner of a lot, subject to a mortgage or charge shown on the strata roll, you may only vote if the mortgagee or chargee does not exercise a vote, having given you two days notice of their intention to exercise a vote. You may only vote on a motion for an ordinary or special resolution if all contributions levied by the Owners Corporation in respect of your lot or any other monies outstanding, at the date of this notice, have been duly paid before the commencement of the meeting.

What are the main differences in resolutions?

For voting purposes: (i) an ordinary resolution is passed if a majority of the votes cast are in favour of the motion; (ii) a special resolution is passed if not more than 25% of the votes cast are against the motion; and (iii) a unanimous resolution is passed if no vote is cast against the motion.

When can the pre-arranged meeting commence?

For a valid meeting a quorum is needed to commence the meeting. This is constituted by 25% of the owners who are financial, present either in person or by proxy and being at least two in number.

What are by-laws?

By-laws are a set of rules that govern such things as the behaviour of residents and the use of common property. The by-laws apply to all owners and residents of a strata scheme. A strata scheme usually starts with standard set of by-laws and over the years the Owners Corporation adjust, revoke or add new by-laws. Check the schemes Certificate of Title to see what by-laws are registered.

What are the main special rules that apply to two-lot schemes?

A quorum is both owners in attendance or have submitted a proxy not the usual 25%, no requirement exists for two lot schemes to have an audit of accounts or financial statements carried out, have variations with regards to insurance and sinking fund (sections 69 and 83).