Vic­to­rian prop­erty leg­is­la­tion un­der­goes ma­jor over­haul

The Riverine Herald - Local Real Estate - - NEWS -

WITH the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment cur­rently un­der­tak­ing the big­gest re­view of prop­erty leg­is­la­tion in the state’s his­tory, re­form of the Own­ers’ Cor­po­ra­tion Act is as­sured.

The Con­sumer Prop­erty Law Re­view is a com­pre­hen­sive anal­y­sis of four key pieces of prop­erty leg­is­la­tion in Vic­to­ria, in­clud­ing the Own­ers’ Cor­po­ra­tion Act.

An is­sues pa­per on the 2006 Act re­ceived more pub­lic sub­mis­sions than any other with an op­tions pa­per now avail­able for feed­back.

The op­tions pa­per aims to ad­dress is­sues that hin­der the ef­fec­tive op­er­a­tion of own­ers cor­po­ra­tions and their man­agers, par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant in a mar­ket that is see­ing a grow­ing num­ber of Vic­to­ri­ans liv­ing in multi-dwelling de­vel­op­ments gov­erned by own­ers cor­po­ra­tions.

At present, Vic­to­rian own­ers cor­po­ra­tion man­agers are re­spon­si­ble for prop­erty worth about $300 bil­lion and an­nual trans­ac­tions of more than $1 bil­lion.

The Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Vic­to­ria (REIV) has worked closely along­side gov­ern­ment as part of the CPL re­view, call­ing for greater pro­fes­sion­al­ism within the broader in­dus­try through strength­ened li­cens­ing re­quire­ments and train­ing stan­dards.

The in­sti­tute has sug­gested a phased im­ple­men­ta­tion of new li­cens­ing ar­range­ments as well as a two-tier li­cens­ing struc­ture sim­i­lar to the model that cur­rently ex­ists for es­tate agents.

Recog­ni­tion of prior qual­i­fi­ca­tions and in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence would en­sure those al­ready work­ing in the in­dus­try are not dis­ad­van­taged.

In ad­di­tion, the REIV sup­ports the in­tro­duc­tion of on­go­ing ed­u­ca­tion for own­ers cor­po­ra­tion man­agers with tar­geted train­ing by key in­dus­try bod­ies, such as Strata Com­mu­nity Aus­tralia and the REIV.

This prac­tice will align Vic­to­ria with NSW, where CPD forms part of its li­cens­ing re­quire­ments, and will en­hance pro­fes­sion­al­ism within this grow­ing sec­tor.

To fur­ther im­prove the in­dus­try’s rep­u­ta­tion, the REIV has called on Con­sumer Af­fairs Vic­to­ria (CAV) to lift el­i­gi­bil­ity re­quire­ments for own­ers cor­po­ra­tion man­agers ex­clud­ing per­sons con­victed of se­ri­ous crim­i­nal of­fences pun­ish­able by im­pris­on­ment of three months or more in the past 12 months.

The op­tions pa­per also fo­cuses on is­sues aris­ing from in­ac­tive own­ers cor­po­ra­tions, which af­fect prop­erty own­ers abil­ity to ef­fec­tively make de­ci­sions re­gard­ing main­te­nance and safety.

In sup­port of this, the REIV has rec­om­mended the fol­low­ing:

ex­pand the ex­ist­ing du­ties of com­mit­tee mem­bers to in­clude a duty to act in the own­ers cor­po­ra­tions best in­ter­est and the pro­vi­sion of guid­ance ma­te­rial and on­line train­ing to sup­port this;

greater de­ci­sion-mak­ing pow­ers for own­ers cor­po­ra­tion man­agers;

greater penal­ties for lot own­ers who breach own­ers cor­po­ra­tion rules;

im­prove own­ers cor­po­ra­tions abil­ity to re­cover debts;

re­duce the max­i­mum com­mit­tee size for smaller own­ers cor­po­ra­tions to seven mem­bers;

in­tro­duce manda­tory main­te­nance plans for all own­ers cor­po­ra­tions, re­gard­less of size;

pro­hibit un­fair terms in man­age­ment con­tracts; and in­crease pub­lic li­a­bil­ity to $20 mil­lion. The REIV be­lieves re­form of this im­por­tant piece of prop­erty leg­is­la­tion will pro­vide greater pro­fes­sion­al­ism within the own­ers cor­po­ra­tion sec­tor, de­liv­er­ing high man­age­ment stan­dards. Joseph Wal­ton, Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Vic­to­ria pres­i­dent

‘ The op­tions pa­per aims to ad­dress is­sues that hin­der the ef­fec­tive op­er­a­tion of own­ers cor­po­ra­tions and man­agers.’ their

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