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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.