• Strata Title Reform - reiwa.comStrata title reform

    The WA Government has passed both he Strata Titles Amendment Bill 2018 and the Community Title Bill 2018. REIWA welcomes the passing and will continue to provide industry insight during the drafting of the Regulations. It is expected the full suite of changes will be enacted in the second half of 2019. 

    The key areas of reform are: 

    • Community title schemes
    • Leasehold strata
    • Staged strata development
    • Improvement management
    • Dispute resolution
    • Better buyer information
    • Termination of schemes.
    Since coming into government in March 2017, REIWA has worked alongside Landgate and the McGowan Government to push ahead with the much-anticipated strata reforms.

    The seven areas of reform will be delivered as a package comprising the Strata Titles Amendment Bill and the Community Titles Bill.

    This decision is supported by REIWA due to the complex nature of the Community Titles Bill.

    REIWA's stance on Community Titles

    REIWA supports the introduction of Community Titles as a way to deliver mixed-use developments that will increase housing choice, affordability and public amenity.

    However, it is essential that the practical management of schemes is clearly outlined for property managers to effectively manage both residential and commercial assets.

    We will continue to work alongside the State Government to ensure as Community Title Schemes are rolled out that property professionals have the skills and knowledge to adapt to this emerging class of property management.

    We expect the release of the final round of draft Bills shortly and will provide feedback following extensive consultation with our members.

    REIWA's stance on termination of schemes

    REIWA supports the level of safeguards incorporated into the draft Bill for the Termination of Strata Schemes to protect all parties throughout the process. This legislation is critical in ensuring that development is not stifled, while also protecting the rights of owners and residents.

    REIWA’s stance on vendor disclosure

    Overall strata disclosure is important, it should lead to better informed prospective buyers. REIWA believes it should remain the seller's obligation to provide disclosure information to prospective buyers, and that it's important for prospective buyers to know certain information about the strata lot they are purchasing.

    Landgate proposed a number of new required information items, one example was including the levy requirements of the lot - the Institute supports prospective buyers knowing this information.

    REIWA supports Landgate's proposal to merge the existing Form 28 and 29, however REIWA did not agree with their suggestion to create four disclosure forms, believing it to be unnecessary and confusing, so suggested there should be two forms, one designated for sale by original owner and one for non-original owner. Each form could have a check box to identify if the lot is in fact strata or survey strata.

    To make the disclosure easier, REIWA suggested that key items of the disclosure be set out on a cover page to make it easier to understand - this should lead to better informed buyers.

    REIWA prefers to reduce red tape and felt Landgate's proposal to mandate a 24 hour period for pre-contractual disclosure could be confusing for buyers and cause headaches for everyone. REIWA strongly opposed this proposal.

    REIWA’s stance on the management of strata schemes

    Ensuring that strata schemes are well managed is really important for owners of strata lots, but also for REIWA members who manage those schemes. The consultation paper proposed a raft of changes to the way annual general meetings are run, as well as allowing for the use of electronic means and the proposal for a code of conduct for strata managers to name a few.

    REIWA's position is that mandating that certain items are on AGM agendas seemed a bit overbearing and could in fact stifle the ability of the strata manager to run smooth meetings - it doesn't necessarily increase consumer protection. REIWA felt to improve protections for owners of strata lots, it would make more sense to actually describe the powers and functions of those owners on strata councils more clearly. Ensuring they understand their role and what matters need to be considered - like reserve funds and financial reporting.

    REIWA's long standing position is that strata managers should be licensed in just the same way that real estate agents are. REIWA doesn't support just introducing a code of conduct, because really a code goes hand-in-hand with licensing. Not to mention that all of the property codes are under review at the moment so it's a bit premature to create a new code that could be out of sync with the other codes.

    REIWA believes in a digital age it is timely and relevant for the STA to be enabled electronically.