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Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Hay­den Groves Hay­den Groves is pres­i­dent of the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of WA.

It’s an­tic­i­pated by 2050 the per­cent­age of West Australians liv­ing in strata-ti­tled com­plexes will rise to more than 50 per cent — an in­crease of 20 per cent on to­day’s level. To en­sure WA can ad­e­quately ac­com­mo­date this shift in hous­ing pref­er­ence, sig­nif­i­cant re­form is re­quired to the Strata Ti­tles Act 1985, which has not been up­dated since 1996.

Landgate, in con­sul­ta­tion with the prop­erty in­dus­try, has drafted seven key re­forms to the Strata Ti­tle Act which will help pro­vide WA with more flex­i­ble and sus­tain­able hous­ing op­tions.

The seven ar­eas of re­form are com­mu­nity ti­tle schemes; lease­hold strata; more flex­i­ble staged strata de­vel­op­ment; strata man­age­ment; sim­pli­fied dis­pute res­o­lu­tion; bet­ter buyer in­for­ma­tion; and safe­guards for the ter­mi­na­tion of schemes.

Min­is­ter for Lands and Plan­ning Rita Saf­fi­oti MLA has an­nounced the McGowan Govern­ment will be mov­ing for­ward with the drafted re­forms, say­ing they are “im­por­tant to the fu­ture hous­ing needs of WA” and the State Govern­ment will be pro­gress­ing leg­is­la­tion as quickly as pos­si­ble. The de­ci­sion by the McGowan Govern­ment to ex­pe­dite the re­form process is a big win for WA — one that will re­sult in the State’s hous­ing sup­ply evolv­ing to be more af­ford­able, di­verse and ac­ces­si­ble for West Australians.

REIWA is a strong ad­vo­cate for strata re­form, and is grate­ful to have had the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in the re­view of the Act. Of the seven re­forms, ven­dor dis­clo­sure to pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion to buyers, the man­age­ment of strata schemes and ter­mi­na­tion pro­vi­sions are of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est.

The in­sti­tute be­lieves po­ten­tial buyers ought to be given suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion about the strata prop­erty be­fore buy­ing on each oc­ca­sion.

Buyers are some­times not made aware of pre­cise costs as­so­ci­ated with a par­tic­u­lar strata scheme, nor do they fully un­der­stand their rights and obli­ga­tions when buy­ing a strata prop­erty.

REIWA has made sug­ges­tions on how to im­prove buyer in­for­ma­tion with­out in­creas­ing un­nec­es­sary red tape.

The way in which strata schemes are man­aged is also an im­por­tant is­sue for the in­dus­try and com­mu­nity.

Many real es­tate agents are in fact strata man­agers, mean­ing they are sub­ject to the li­cens­ing and reg­u­la­tory frame­work as real es­tate agents, whereas you might be sur­prised to learn strata man­agers are not li­censed.

In the ab­sence of li­cens­ing strata man­agers, REIWA has ad­vo­cated for strata man­agers to be re­quired to keep strata funds in trust — an im­por­tant safe­guard for our com­mu­nity.

In the long term, REIWA sup­ports the li­cens­ing of the strata in­dus­try to en­sure the pro­tec­tion of all pro­pri­etors within a strata com­plex.

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