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  • Impending strata title reform a necessity in WA

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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 Western Australia 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.

    Strata Title Reforms

    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.

    Pleasingly, the Honorable Rita Saffioti MLA announced last week the McGowan Government would be moving forward with the drafted reforms, stating they were “important to the future housing needs of WA” and the State Government would 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 become more affordable, diverse and accessible for all West Australians.

    REIWA is a strong advocate for strata reform, and we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the reviewing of the Act.

    Key issues for the Institute

    Of the seven reforms, vendor disclosure to provide more comprehensive information to buyers, the management of strata schemes and termination provisions are of particular interest to the Institute.

    Vendor disclosure

    REIWA believes potential buyers ought to be given sufficient information about the strata property prior to purchasing on each and every occasion.

    Buyers are sometimes not made aware of the 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.

    Management of strata schemes

    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, which means 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 funds of the strata 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 the strata complex.

    Read more about the impending changes to the Strata Title Act.