Submission: Reform of strata laws consultation drafts


The Tenants’ Union of New South Wales is the peak body representing the interests of tenants in New South Wales. We are a Community Legal Centre specialising in residential tenancy law and policy. And we are the resourcing body for the statewide network of Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Services (TAASs), who collectively handle around 30,00 questions and requests for assistance from tenants each year. This includes tenants in strata schemes.

Investors own more than half of the residential strata lots in New South Wales. It stands to reason that tenants occupy the majority of lots within the state’s strata schemes, and have a particular interest in how strata schemes are managed. Tenants also have an interest in the redevelopment of strata schemes that will result in the termination of residential tenancy agreements. The TU’s submissions are made with these concerns in mind.

Our focus is on those parts of the consultation draft Strata Schemes Management Bill 2015 and Strata Schemes Development Bill 2015 that relate to relations between occupiers and owners of lots, as well as occupiers and owners corporations. We do not intend to comment on the consultation drafts in their entirety, or submit a particular view as to the overall balance of rights and obligations the draft bills propose to achieve.

There are six key areas of such interest in the proposed Strata Schemes Management Bill 2015, and two in the proposed Strata Schemes Development Bill 2015.

Strata Schemes Management Bill 2015

  1. Tenant participation in strata scheme management
  2. By-laws
  3. Repairs and maintenance
  4. Measures to prevent overcrowding
  5. Dealing with abandoned goods
  6. Dispute resolution

Strata Schemes Development Bill 2015

  1. Strata renewal
  2. Effects of strata scheme renewal plans on residential tenancy agreements