What to look out for before buying a property

Savina YangFebruary 27th, 2017

If you are entering the property market for the first time as a home-owner, congratulations. This is going to be one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make in your lifetime, especially in Sydney where property prices are labelled as “crazy”. So don’t throw caution to the wind, we are here to guide […]

“Just claim on your contents insurance”

Amanda FarmerFebruary 16th, 2015

When a water leak emanating from common property damages a lot owner’s property, including furniture, managing agents will often advise lot owners to make a claim on their contents insurance. The explanation usually runs like this: “the building insurer won’t cover it because our policy doesn’t extend to lot owner’s property, so it’s up to […]

Court of Appeal finds strata schemes may restrospectively approve legal action

Amanda FarmerJanuary 21st, 2015

December 2014 saw two decisions of the NSW Court of Appeal confirm the effect of section 80D of the Strata Schemes Management Act. This is the section that requires legal action to be approved by the general meeting if the reasonably estimated costs of taking that action exceed the amounts stipulated in the Regulation (currently $1000 […]

Home Building Amendment Act 2014 – commencement dates proclaimed

Amanda FarmerDecember 14th, 2014

On Wednesday 10 December 2014 the Governor proclaimed the commencement of the Home Building Amendment Act 2014. There are three relevant dates. In summary:- (a) the amendment that inserts a provision requiring disclosure about uninsured owner-builder work commences on 31 December 2014; (b) amendments relating to:- contracts to do residential building work or supply kit homes; […]

Home Building Act changes – now due to commence mid-January 2015

Amanda FarmerNovember 24th, 2014

NSW Fair Trading is now advising stakeholders that the Home Building Amendment Act 2014 and accompanying Regulation will commence together in mid-January 2015. This is a slight extension of the 1 December 2014 date many owners and their legal counsel have been working towards. Fair Trading is also advising that “some changes that require a […]

A win for builders, yet another blow for owners

Amanda FarmerOctober 9th, 2014

The High Court has found that there is no duty of care owed by a builder to an owners corporation in respect of pure economic loss flowing from latent defects in construction work.

Owners act reasonably in denying original builder the right to rectify defects

Amanda FarmerAugust 27th, 2014

The NSW Supreme Court has found that an Owners Corporation acted reasonably in refusing to allow the original builder to rectify its own defective work.

Major impact of amendments to Home Building Act NSW

Amanda FarmerJune 26th, 2014

On 5 June 2014, major amendments to the Home Building Act received assent. The new law will commence on a date to be proclaimed, which may not be until the end of 2014.

The impact for strata and community schemes is significant.

The importance of a clear engagement contract

Amanda FarmerMay 1st, 2014

A word of warning for both owners corporations and their suppliers: if the terms of the contract between you are unclear or ambiguous, you could both suffer.

The NSW Supreme Court has recently considered a case in which an owners corporation was sued by a consulting engineer in relation to the owners corporation’s alleged failure to pay in full for a building defects report prepared by the engineer: Demlakian Engineers Pty Ltd v The Owners of Strata Plan 80453 [2014] NSWSC 401 (8 April 2014)

When can an owners corporation commence legal action without the approval of the General Meeting?

Georgia Kate MorganDecember 18th, 2013

Section 80D of the Strata Schemes Management Act (“the Act”) requires an owners corporation to pass a resolution in general meeting before seeking legal advice or the provision of any other legal services, or initiating legal action for which any payment may be required. There is an exemption to this requirement in Regulation 15 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation: section 80D does not apply if the reasonably estimated cost of seeking the legal advice, having the legal services provided or taking the legal action would not exceed (a) $1000 for each lot in the strata scheme; or (b) $12,500 in total – whichever is the lesser.

Court of Appeal allows building defects claim in negligence for commercial strata

Savina YangOctober 22nd, 2013

The NSW Court of Appeal has found that a builder owes a duty of care to a commercial owners corporation.