Strata and Community Title laws review update

| February 15, 2013

As the review into NSW strata and community title laws continues, NSW Fair Trading Minister, the Hon. Anthony Roberts MP shares an update on his focus for the future and necessary law reform. 

In December 2011, the NSW Government launched a ground-breaking review of the state’s strata and community title laws. The central aim of the review is to modernise and simplify the legislation and restore the NSW laws to world’s best practice.

The strata and community title laws cover some 72,000 strata schemes and 1,500 community schemes, and it is estimated that up to one quarter of the state’s population live in or own a strata unit. By 2040, we anticipate that around half of Sydney’s housing stock will be multi-unit dwellings.

The laws play a fundamental role in the day-to-day lives of millions of strata residents, and also have a big impact on everyone whose working life is related to the operation and management of strata schemes. Currently there are five Acts covering strata and community title law in New South Wales with over 1,500 associated provisions. Given this complexity, the review has the potential to make a positive difference to the lives of all these people.

The review kicked off in late 2011 with the Global Access Partners Online Strata Consulation on Open Forum. This forum provided the means for a community-led discussion on strata and community title laws in New South Wales. This forum received more than 13,500 unique visitors with over 1,200 comments posted – a record-breaking result.

Following on from the online forum, I released a discussion paper in September 2012 called Making NSW No 1 Again – Shaping Future Communitiesfor public consultation. The discussion paper identified a broad range of strata issues and outlined possible options for reform. NSW Fair Trading sent an ‘Invitation to Comment’ to an extensive list of stakeholders including strata managing agents, strata industry groups and associations, local councils, and individual strata owners and residents.

I’m delighted with the response to the discussion paper. We have received more than 1,900 submissions and comments.

Adding these numbers to the comments made to the online forum means this is easily the largest response to any review ever conducted by NSW Fair Trading. The responses came from a broad cross-section of stakeholders and I am pleased the majority of submissions came from lot owners and residents. This means that we are getting information and feedback from the grassroots of the community.

From all the information we have received, it is clear that the current legislation has become outdated and complex, making it difficult to navigate and understand. The issues attracting the most comments included building defects, overcrowding, pets, smoking, strata scheme terminations and urban renewal, proxy voting, by-laws, debt recovery and parking.

At this stage, no policy decisions have been taken on any matters. In coming weeks I will be holding targeted discussions with a range of stakeholders on the issues raised throughout the submission. There will also be further community consultation once law reform proposals have been developed.

I would ask everyone who contributed during the earlier stages of the review to remain engaged in this important process. The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will continue to seek your feedback throughout this essential landmark project.



  1. exstrata

    March 4, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Stakeholders and time schedule of the discussions

    The Hon Anthony Roberts

    Could you answer the following questions in relation to the strata law reforms please:

    1. the types of stakeholders with whom you will be holding those targeted discussions (ie owners, strata managers, selling agents, solicitors, etc)?

    2. how you will select these stakeholders and how many people will fall into each category?

    3. Will they represent owners and managers across the entire NSW state in proportion to the population?

    4. In what forum will the discussions take place (teleconference, visits to regional centres/townhall seminars?)

    5. When do you anticipate these discussions being completed?

    I am a very keen and interested strata manager who made one of the 1900 submissions (50+pages worth actually) and would relish the chance to talk with you about the issues raised in the Discussion Paper and any summary that your staff have compiled from all of those submissions.

    6. Would it be possible for such a summary to be made available to interested parties?

    Thank you for your time.

    Michele H




    • The Hon Anthony Roberts

      The Hon Anthony Roberts

      March 13, 2013 at 2:56 am


      Hello Michele,

      Thank you for your ongoing interest in the strata and community title law review process. 

      In response to your questions, I can advise that targeted stakeholder discussions were held by my office during late February/early March and were attended by representatives of strata industry stakeholder groups and organisations, strata industry specialists, academics and key community groups. The attendees were selected to ensure that a broad spectrum of views and expert advice on key strata industry issues would be heard. These groups and organisations represented strata owners, managing agents and a wide range of other strata stakeholders from throughout NSW.

      The submissions to the review discussion paper are being published on the Fair Trading website, and many are already available for viewing on the ‘Have Your Say’ page on the website (

      The next step in the review will be the release of draft reform proposals for public consultation later in 2013. Anyone who is not already on the consultation mailing list can register on the Fair Trading website to be kept informed about the review.

      Anthony Roberts MP
      Minister for Fair Trading

  2. John Faust

    April 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    State caravan parks

    The hon Anthony Roberts, A situation has arisen at the Grabine State Park, where site holders at the front (nearest the Dam waters) are being charged a premium rate P.A.! This was introduced by The Trust at the urging of who it was they reported to? Since then the Trust authority has been withdrawn! I have emailed both Katrina Hodgkinson and our Deputy Premier as we were told they shared this portfolio. On 30th June last year we received from the Park Manager, Alison Plither, a letter stating that the fees would stand as they had already been factored in for the year. A review would be undertaken by the Trust? and manager for 2013-2014. As we do not know who we will be dealing with or who to appeal to we have not agreed to pay the extra for our "Premium Site" and are waiting for replies! It has been suggested this will be administered by the local Lands Department Officer in Goulburn, Mr John Flarrerty. But in contacting him last year I was told it was being processed? As there are some 250 site holders in the park I would like to know by what right we are being discriminated against? I feel as do a lot of others that any increases should be shared equally! At last Christmas Holidays and also Easter Weekend, between us as being front vans (12) at our section we had limited access to the dam as there were so many campers in front and on the waters edge I would defy anyone to call other than the campers, "Premium Sites!" Can you investigate this problem for us please, we feel we have been unfairly treated in being asked to pay more than other site holders, for what appears to be no good reason. Sincerely John Faust

    • The Hon Anthony Roberts

      The Hon Anthony Roberts

      April 23, 2013 at 1:45 am


      Mr Faust,

      I understand that Grabine State Park is situated on Crown land and that a Crown Lands Caravan Policy might be in place to assist in the management of the issues you have raised.

      From a Fair Trading perspective, the Holiday Parks (Long-term Casual Occupation) Act 2002 (the Act) regulates parks where occupants own their own caravan and keep it on a site in the park for casual use. The Act sets out the rights and responsibilities of caravan owners and park operators and provides a number of consumer protections, including minimum notice periods for site occupation fee increases and terminations and a dispute resolution system through the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.

      The Act does not give occupants permanent tenure rights over their site, and there is a maximum limit of 180 days occupancy in any 12 month period.

      Site occupation fees may only be increased during a fixed term agreement if the agreement sets out the circumstances under which fees are to be increased. In addition, 30 days written notice must be given to the occupant. After the end of the fixed term of the agreement, the park owner may increase the site occupation fees by giving 30 days’ notice. There is no limit to the number or size of such increases provided the required notice is given. The Act does not require that site occupation fee increases be linked to increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

      Fees and fee increases are a matter for the marketplace.  With very few exceptions, there is no price control on goods and services available in the market in NSW, and it is generally recommended that consumers shop around to check prices and other details before agreeing to buy goods or sign a contract for goods or services. It is not the intention of the Act to control prices for site occupation fees. Keeping a moveable dwelling in a park on a long-term casual basis can be a very economical and convenient option in comparison to other forms of holiday accommodation, but it is up to the consumer to make this choice.

      If you consider that there has been a breach of your agreement terms in relation to the charging of a fee, you may wish to consider applying to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal to resolve the issue. Additional details on the Tribunal can be found on its website (

      Should you require any further information about the issues you have raised, I would encourage you to contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

      Anthony Roberts MP
      Minister for Fair Trading

  3. marksman

    March 17, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Strata Law Review

    Dear Minister: I have read through the "Strata Tile Law Reform Position Paper" and am concerned that the following important matters appear not to have been addressed: 1. One Vote Per Lot – Currently, most voting at EGM's in relation to common property, is on a show of hands, but when requested (or for special resolutions)it is based on unit entitlements, where larger units (based on floor-space, etc) get a proportionately larger vote. However, this is illogical. Basically, every Lot should have one vote, regardless of the size of the Lot. Unit entitlement should be retained if only for the proportionate allocation of levies. Some argue strongly that because they pay a higher levy, they should have more say in the outcome. But they miss the whole point of common property, namely that it is not segregated and broken up into segments whereby each lot owner can say "this is my little bit". It is common to all lot owners equally. Those who have larger Lots will benefit from their larger unit entitlements at sale time, when they can logically expect to receive a proportionately higher sale price. 2. Vexatious Residents – Apparently, every strata block has one resident that constantly and unjustly harasses the Executive Committee (EC). It would be acceptable if the EC was not delivering, but when they are doing a very good job, the situation becomes untenable with some EC members not prepared to continue. Section 117 provides a vague form of relief. However, the EC should be able to deliver a fine of some sort to the offending resident, by completing a form and having the OFT levy the fine. Such a fine (when paid, and after adjusting for OFT admin costs)should be paid into the Owners Corporation coffers. If existing EC members are not protected from such people, there soon won't be anyone prepared to take on the role of an EC member.