STRATA MOVE PRAISE RE­FORMS WEL­COMED

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Residential -

THE State Gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to re­form strata ti­tle leg­is­la­tion has been wel­comed by the prop­erty in­dus­try.

An­nounced last week by Lands Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti, the pro­posed re­forms were drafted by Landgate and will ad­dress seven ar­eas: com­mu­nity ti­tle schemes, lease­hold strata, more flex­i­ble staged strata de­vel­op­ment, im­proved man­age­ment, sim­pli­fied dis­pute res­o­lu­tion, bet­ter buyer in­for­ma­tion and safe­guards for the ter­mi­na­tion of schemes.

Ms Saf­fi­oti said the re­forms were im­por­tant to the fu­ture hous­ing needs of WA and the State Gov­ern­ment would be pro­gress­ing the leg­is­la­tion as quickly as pos­si­ble.

The re­forms are ex­pected to fa­cil­i­tate mixed-use de­vel­op­ments and the in­tro­duc­tion of lease­hold strata and com­mu­nity ti­tle schemes, and im­prove strata schemes to make it eas­ier to de­velop land next to Metronet lines and above train sta­tions.

“By pro­vid­ing new strata de­vel­op­ment op­tions, these re­forms will help cre­ate vi­brant com­mu­ni­ties close to public trans­port, in­fra­struc­ture, fa­cil­i­ties and work­places,” Ms Saf­fi­oti said.

The leg­is­la­tion would also pro­vide bet­ter pro­tec­tion for strata own­ers through the reg­u­la­tion of strata man­agers, bet­ter buyer in­for­ma­tion, and be­ing able to quickly and eas­ily re­solve strata dis­putes through the State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal.

WA has more than 300,000 strata lots and the num­ber is in­creas­ing, with 40 to 50 per cent of all new land sub­di­vi­sions be­ing for strata lots. How­ever, there has been no ma­jor re­forms to the Strata Ti­tles Act 1985 in 20 years.

REIWA pres­i­dent Hay­den Groves said the re­forms were long over­due and he was pleased they would be im­ple­mented.

“REIWA is com­mit­ted to the strata ti­tle re­form process and we are par­tic­u­larly sup­port­ive of more buyer in­for­ma­tion be­ing dis­closed and mak­ing sure buy­ers know what they are get­ting into,” he said.

Strata Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Scott Bellerby said the drafted re­forms were des­per­ately needed and would help pro­vide more flex­i­ble and sus­tain­able hous­ing op­tions.

“The cur­rent re­forms are a good first step to help­ing de­fine the role of the strata man­ager and will pro­vide im­proved man­age­ment of schemes. How­ever, fur­ther reg­u­la­tion and li­cens­ing is still needed,” he said.

“The min­is­ter should com­mit to the for­ma­tion of a work­ing group af­ter the cur­rent re­forms are passed to de­liver a li­cens­ing plat­form for the State Gov­ern­ment to adopt early next year.”

Hous­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor John Gelavis said the re­forms would en­able greater hous­ing choice through­out Perth.

“Hous­ing choice is crit­i­cal for af­ford­able hous­ing and changes to this leg­is­la­tion should ul­ti­mately pro­vide more op­tions for con­sumers,” he said.

Shel­ter WA spokesman Stephen Hall said the re­forms would en­able greater flex­i­bil­ity of land use, which would as­sist with pro­vid­ing a good sup­ply of di­verse and af­ford­able hous­ing.

“These re­forms will sup­port tran­sit-ori­ented de­vel­op­ment, along and close to trans­port routes, which Shel­ter WA has sup­ported for many years,” he said.

“Through these changes, there is an op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide more di­verse and af­ford­able hous­ing that meets the need of a chang­ing pop­u­la­tion.”

Prop­erty Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lino Ia­comella said the in­tro­duc­tion of com­mu­nity ti­tles in par­tic­u­lar would make a real dif­fer­ence by en­cour­ag­ing more mixe­duse de­vel­op­ment in and around ac­tiv­ity cen­tres and re­tire­ment vil­lages, of­fer­ing greater amenity to res­i­dents and more sus­tain­able lo­cal economies.

“These re­forms will also pro­vide bet­ter out­comes for com­mu­ni­ties, im­prov­ing hous­ing choice and af­ford­abil­ity for all West Aus­tralians,” he said.

The Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute WA also strongly sup­ported the re­forms, par­tic­u­larly the in­tro­duc­tion of com­mu­nity ti­tle schemes, lease­hold strata and staged strata de­vel­op­ment.

“The re­forms will bring WA’s strata ti­tles leg­is­la­tion into line with other Aus­tralian ju­ris­dic­tions and re­sult in more af­ford­able and di­verse hous­ing be­ing de­liv­ered,” chief ex­ec­u­tive Allison Hailles said.

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