Strata and Community Scheme Laws: Making NSW number one again

| December 15, 2011

New South Wales was the birthplace of strata and community scheme laws. Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts wants to see the NSW laws number one again.

New South Wales can be proud of its achievement as the birthplace of both the strata and community scheme models. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first strata laws which were introduced back in 1961. These ground-breaking approaches to land title have since been adopted across Australia and around the world.

There are currently over 70,000 strata schemes and 1500 community schemes in NSW, providing accommodation for more than two million people. These figures are only set to rise to meet the needs of our growing population. Some estimates suggest that within 30 years half the state’s population will be living in strata and community schemes.

With more and more people living in close proximity, it is vital that appropriate laws are in place. Part of the charter I was given by the Premier on being appointed as the Minister for Fair Trading was to examine the strata laws.

I therefore welcome this timely initiative from GAP to kick things off with their innovative online consultation. This will feed in well to the broad review that the NSW Government will commence in mid 2012.

An improved, modern and more flexible framework for strata and community schemes is essential. Many people waste thousands of dollars in legal fees because the law is not simple and clear.

The original strata Act only had 29 sections. Not only have schemes become larger and more complex since then, but we now have five separate Acts plus five associated Regulations, with more than 1000 provisions, regulating the development and management of strata and community schemes. The laws have become like a tired, rundown block of flats, with various amendments tacked on over the years to try to cover up the cracks.

The construction of new schemes, and service delivery to existing schemes, is a multi-billion dollar industry. Reforming the strata laws can play a vital role in improving the NSW economy.

My goal as Minister is to make NSW number one again in this area. I  want a set of laws that will take us into the next 50 years and beyond. I want a set of laws that other jurisdictions in Australia and around the world will once again look to as a best practice model and be keen to adopt.

Legislation: Strata and community schemes
Strata Laws Online Consultation Questions:

Q1. What are the main areas of the existing strata and community scheme laws you would like to see changed?

Q2. Can you see any future issues that need to be addressed in the legislation?

Q3. How could the management of strata and community schemes be improved?

Q4. Are there any changes needed to the way disputes in strata and community schemes are resolved?



DISCLAIMER: The comments published below represent a wide range of views and interests of the participating individuals and organisations. Statements made during online discussions are the personal opinions of the commentators and do not necessarily reflect those of the NSW Government or Open Forum. Open Forum, at all times and at its absolute discretion, reserves the right to remove offensive comments from the Strata Laws Online Consultation. For your reference, any comments/messages that are offensive for the online consultation would include any or all of the following: breach of privacy, defamatory content, profane content, risk of contempt of court, racial and religious hatred/vilification, confidentiality concerns. 




  1. Mr Strata

    December 14, 2011 at 4:13 am

    Number of laws


    Congratulations Minister for having the courage to tackle this important area of reform. The previous Government put these issues in the too hard basket.

    For starters, I agree that having 5 Acts and 5 Regulations is ridiculous. Why make an already complex area even more complicated than it needs to be? Most other states get by happily with just one Act that covers everything. I can’t see why we couldn’t do the same here.

  2. Adam

    December 14, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Number of laws

    As Mr Strata points out the review includes the following 10 pieces of legislation which directly regulate the development and management of strata and community schemes:

    6.       Strata Schemes (Leasehold Development) Regulation 2007

     There are links to all of the laws on the Fair Trading website if you want to read more

    Adam Heydon

    NSW Fair Trading



    • Skyblue38

      December 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

      Strata Reform


      Having lived in Units for 3 decades I am glad as number people in State that major reforms are needed in Strata Living.

        For too long the "us and them" mentality that pervades Strata Management and Owners has been like cancer undermining progress on maintaining Strata Properties.

       It appears Strata Managers and their seniors have set about taking a "Nine to Five" attitude towards Strata and have used Owners lack of expirience in Strata Laws

       and sit back use laws against owners to make profit with out carrying out full service of their contract.

       Also costs of maintaining property in last 20 years has been too difficult to accept for many owners Strata Commitees due overwhelming amount work needed to be done many larger properties

       The one where I live currently in Marsfield prime example of neglect to to spiralling costa



  3. Lee-Anne D

    November 4, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Strata Reform
    Dear Hon Anthony Roberts,

    with the proposed reform to strata laws approaching its two year anniversay for consultation and flurry of recent media releases regarding reform, would you please provide an update as to when the proposed new model by-laws will be released to the public?

    Kind regards

    Lee-Anne D