News & Regulations
The Strata Schemes Management Amendment [Sinking Funds] Regulation 2006 was gazetted on April 28 2006. This Regulation requires most NSW strata schemes to commence 10-year sinking fund planning over the next few years. The Regulation extends to older schemes the provisions of the Strata Schemes Management Act which already apply to schemes that have come into existence on or after 7th February 2005.
Fire Safety Inspections
From 7 February 2005 it became the owners corporation’s responsibility to arrange access to all parts of the building for the purpose of fire safety inspections. Owners corporations are subject to a penalty of up to $2,200 for not complying with a notice given to them about access. However, an owners corporation can defend itself against prosecution if individual lot owners or tenants within a strata building refuse to give access after being requested by the owners corporation to do so, or are unable to be contacted. Where there is a dispute about a lot owner or tenant not giving access, the owners corporation may apply to an Adjudicator for an order against the person in question. The Adjudicator has the power to order that access be provided for a fire safety inspection.
From February 2006, the NSW Pesticides Regulation requires that residents of multiple occupancy dwellings must be notified when licensed pest controllers apply pesticides to the internal or external common areas of their residence. The rules apply to residential strata, community and company title schemes which consist of three or more dwellings, retirement villages and to caravan parks with long term residents. The requirements affect owners, strata managers and property managers because the person responsible for organising the pest treatment is responsible for making sure that residents are given at least five working days advance notice. Advance notice of the pesticide treatment can be given in person, by fax, by email or telephone, by post, in letterboxes, under doors or by placing information on common notice boards and near the main building entrance.
Saving water in your home or business can not only save you money in water and energy bills, but also reduce our environmental impacts on local waterways. To assist people in saving water, Eurobodalla Shire Council is currently offering incentives for water customers to purchase and install rainwater tanks and water efficient washing machines, as well as giving away free water efficient showerheads.
Be specific with regards to fees and charges involved. Keep in mind that fees charged usually represents the type and quality service you can expect. Be concerned with fees that appear too low. The old saying “you get what you pay for” is equally true when applied to strata management services.
New Lift Regulations
Do you have any elevators in your building? If so you will need to know about the new regulations that affect all buildings with lifts. These regulations, as part of the Occupational Health & Safety Act determine that a Hazard and Risk Assessment must be carried out on all elevators. The purpose of the Assessment is to advise you of the hazards and risks that must be eliminated or controlled for the purpose of rendering the equipment safe to operate.
New Regulations – Smoke Alarms, Strata Title Lot Owners
Smoke Alarms are compulsory as of 1st May 2006 in all properties where there is sleeping accommodation available. Regulation 186D has been drafted to enable a lot owner to install the smoke alarms without the need to seek consent from the Owners Corporation to drill into common property (the ceiling) to affix them. The Regulation calls for owners of a dwelling within a residential scheme, not the owner’s corporation, to install compliant smoke alarms where smoke alarms are not currently installed. The cost of the installation is to be met by the individual owner. Landlords should seek advice and access through their rental agents. Smoke alarms advisory note (498kb)
Home Insulation Program
The Australian Government is offering a rebate to install a solar hot water system or to install a heat pump hot water system or to install ceiling insulation. This practical step will encourge householders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. A reminder that the above will necessitate prior written permission from the owners corporations, as the items fall under additions to common property.