They’ve been a long time coming but the good news is that long-awaited reforms to WA’s 31-year old Strata Titles Act are finally close to becoming new laws.
As reforms go, they’re important. With the new planning focus on curbing urban sprawl, many more West Australians will be joining the 700,000 who already live in strata properties.
Landgate has spent the past two years refining the changes and although there was an expectation they would be introduced into Parliament this year, that deadline has now been pushed back to 2017. “Fitting more people into areas that are already well-serviced by amenity and infrastructure is a State Government priority and these reforms will bring in long overdue changes for people who own or live in strata properties,” says Colliers International director residential sales and strata management Daniel Crotty.
“The planning blue print for Perth shows closer-quarter living will increasingly be a part of the residential landscape and we need strata laws that will get WA ready for future population growth and better service this growing area of the market.”
As part of the reforms, Mr Crotty says buyers will be given more relevant information before they sign a contract to buy while the function of strata managers and councils and how they interact with members has also been overhauled. There will also be big improvements in the area of dispute resolution. As things stand, strata disputes can be heard in four different forums and court actions can be slow and expensive but once the reforms have been adopted by Parliament, the State Administration Tribunal will be the central forum for dispute resolution.
Importantly, Mr Crotty says, the Tribunal will also be able to issue enforcements. WA has also fallen behind other States in how it terminates strata schemes when a 100 per cent ownership agreement has not been reached.
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