How Do The New Strata Laws Affect Me?

On November 30, 2016, the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading announced more than 90 changes to strata laws, affecting thousands of owners, renters, strata managers and landlords of apartments and townhouses under strata title throughout the state. In fact, the Department estimates that a quarter of the NSW population lives in, owns or manages a strata titled property. If you are in the market for an apartment or townhouse in New South Wales, then you need to be aware of these changes and how they could affect you in your new home. 

Most of the changes are designed to make living in an apartment or townhouse easier and more pleasant for both owners and tenants and they have largely been welcomed. Here are some key changes to be aware of. 

Sale of blocks to developers

Up until the recent changes, developers could not purchase whole apartment blocks if just one owner objected to the sale. Now it will take a vote of 75 per cent of owners to sell an apartment block to developers, allowing many more older apartment blocks to be redeveloped. 

More pet-friendly apartments

The new strata by laws ensure that both owners and tenants can approach the strata committee for permission to have a pet.

Smoking complaints

It will now be easier for apartment residents to make a complaint if cigarette smoke from a neighbouring apartment wafts into their home. Smoking zones can also be implemented outside of common outdoor areas. 


The new by-laws split renovations into cosmetic, minor and major categories. You won’t need to apply to the strata committee if you are planning a cosmetic update (such as painting a common wall) but a minor renovation will require a vote by the committee and a major reno involving structural changes will require a special resolution at a general meeting. 

More say for tenants

Renters now have the right to attend owners’ corporation meetings and express their opinions if they wish. The strata committee can only exclude tenants when purely financial matters are being discussed. If more than 50 per cent of the residents are tenants, then a tenants’ rep must be elected to the strata committee, but he or she will not have any voting rights. 

Solving parking problems

Owners’ corporations can now make arrangements to move cars illegally parked on common property and for local council parking rangers to patrol their building’s carpark. This by law is aimed at preventing commuters from using strata-owned car parks.

Getting rid of dumped items

Too many apartment dwellers simply dump goods on common property when they move. Owners’ corporations can now remove or sell any goods that are left dumped on common property by former residents. 

Further changes are aimed at strengthening the accountability of strata managers, providing a simpler, clearer process for disputes and reducing red tape. All strata schemes must review their current by laws for November 30, 2017. 

For more information on how the changes will or could affect you, visit the Department of Fair Trading to download fact sheets, subscribe to the strata update newsletter or sign up for a free strata reforms information session. If however, you’re after further information about buying, selling or managing a property, please talk to your local Century 21 agent today.

Posted by Administrator on 31/05/2017 at 3:52 PM | Categories:


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