Overhaul Of Strata Law

Did you know that the NSW Government recently overhauled the strata laws, these took effect in late 2016 but many landlords are tenants are unaware of how the changes could impact them.


The best place to start reading about the changes is the Department of Fair Trading’s website, which summarises the major changes as:

  • Strengthening the accountability of strata managers
  • Allowing owners to adopt modern technology to conduct meetings, vote, communicate and administer their scheme
  • The need for owners to review by-laws (strata community rules) within 12 months, which can be customised to suit their lifestyle – such as whether to allow owners to keep a pet by giving notice to the owners corporation
  • A process for the collective sale and renewal of a strata scheme
  • A simpler, clearer process for dealing with disputes
  • Broadening tenant participation in meetings
  • A new option to manage unauthorised parking through a commercial arrangement between a local council and a strata scheme
  • A clearer and simpler three-tier renovations process, which waives approval for cosmetic renovations within the strata lot (for example, installing handrails for safety).

It also has sections relating to the perspective of various stakeholders like landlords or tenants, and some myth busters. The Real Estate Institute of NSW also has some information on the changes, directed more at agents and landlords.


The implementation of the changes can be eased into, but note the requirement that all strata schemes must review their current by-laws by 30 November 2017. So start reviewing your scheme’s by-laws now so you can be ready.

Times have changed since 1973 when the former rules were introduced.

The Sydney region keeps growing, and growth has accelerated. Planning minister Rob Stokes told the Sydney Morning Herald that we could have another 2.1 million people in Sydney over the next 20 years. According to the ABS, Australia grew by 8.3% between the 2006 and 2011 censuses, and in Sydney the proportion of accomodation in units keeps increasing as a share of the total.

The push for greater density in the metropolitan region will push that proportion beyond the 27.5% estimated from the 2006 Census. In the City of Sydney, it is now 73% of dwellings are flats and units! A good time to update the rules.

Further Reading

The Sydney Morning Herald >> Sydney Population Booms and the Only Way Is Up

City of Sydney >> Shaping Future Communities

University of New South Wales >> The Governance of Strata Title Developments in Sydney