Tenants in Strata – summary of the NSW law reforms

Here are four ‘need-to-know’ items arising from the NSW strata law reforms (set to take effect at the end of this year), specifically relevant to tenants:

Item 1 – notices of general meetings

The owners corporation of a strata scheme where any lots are occupied by tenants must, at least 7 days before any general meeting:

  • Give a copy of the agenda for the meeting to each tenant OR
  • Where a notice board is required to be maintained under the by-laws, prominently display the copy of the agenda on the notice board.

Tenants may attend a meeting, but are not entitled to vote in their own right (they can vote as a proxy holder).

The owners corporation may determine that tenants (other than proxy holders) are not entitled to be present when the following matters are being discussed or determined:-

  • Financial statements and auditor’s reports
  • Levying of contributions
  • Recovery of unpaid contributions
  • A collective sale or renewal proposal, or any related matter.

[Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, Schedule 1, Part 2, Clauses 11 and 21]

This law has been passed and is expected to take effect around November/December 2016.

Item 2 – tenancy notices

Lessors must give notice of leases to the owners corporation via a “tenancy notice”, not later than 14 days after the commencement of the lease. The notice must include:

  • the name of the tenant/s
  • the tenant/s’ address for service
  • the name of any agent acting for the lessor.

[Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, Schedule 1, Part 2, Clauses 11 and 21]

This law has been passed and is expected to take effect around November/December 2016.

Item 3 – tenant representative

If there are tenants for at least half of the number of lots in the scheme, the tenants may nominate one tenant representative to sit on the strata committee. The tenant representative is:

  • Not entitled to vote or to put a motion or nominate a person for office; and
  • Not entitled to act as an officer of the owners corporation; and
  • Is not counted in determining the quorum.

[Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, section 33].

This law has been passed and is expected to take effect around November/December 2016.

Item 4 – proposed new law: tenant meeting

Proposed new laws require the owners corporation of a strata scheme, where there are tenants for at least half the lots in the scheme, to hold a meeting of tenants.

  • The purpose of the meeting of tenants is to nominate a person for the position of tenant representative on the strata committee.
  • The meeting of tenants must be held no later than 7 days before the Annual General Meeting
  • Notice of the meeting of tenants must be sent to tenants at least 21 days before the Annual General Meeting.
  • The convenor of the tenants meeting (usually the owners corporation secretary or strata manager, with delegated authority) is to chair the tenants meeting.

[DRAFT Regulation 7 in the DRAFT Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016]

This law remains draft and may or may not be amended prior to the expected commencement date of the NSW strata law reforms (November/December 2016).

 

The information contained in this article is not legal advice. This article is intended to provide general information in summary form only. You should not rely on the content of this article as legal advice. If you would like advice specific to you and your situation, please contact us.

Posted in LCOR