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The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales has made its voice heard ahead of the review of 2015’s strata regulations by the state government.
Following a call to action from key stakeholders to review the NSW level strata legislation late last year, the REINSW responded with a preliminary submission.
Now, the organisation has issued a “a comprehensive submission in response to the questions raised in the discussion paper, as well as raising various other key issues”.
The submission reiterated the REINSW’s position that the real estate industry should be moved away from NSW Fair Trading.
“The complexity of property services industry demands a regulator that has industry experience and the expertise to deliver better outcomes for the consumers, professionals and businesses operating in the sector,” said REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin.
According to Mr McKibbin, “Almost from the moment the new framework commenced, the REINSW Strata Management Chapter Committee began analysing the changes.”
“We knew the mandatory statutory review would come around all too quickly and the Chapter Committee kept a watchful eye on the impact of the reforms on day-to-day practice, continually assessing what was working and what was not,” he said.
Other recommendations made by the submission include an extension of strata manager terms from 12 months to 15 months, the reduction of the 30-day payment period for emergency fund levies and new amendments designed to protect the privacy of owners and allow for better maintenance of strata records.
In December 2020, Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said “the government’s landmark 2015 reforms modernised strata living, but we know there is more to do”.
“In particular, we know more needs to be done to ensure that apartment buildings are well maintained and remain free of building defects over their lifetime so that owners aren’t left out of pocket by tens of thousands of dollars.”
“It is important that the laws covering strata living stay relevant and address some of the fundamental issues that might be stopping people from fulfilling the great Australian dream of home ownership,” Mr Anderson said.
Mr McKibbin said that the REINSW has been in regular contact with key government stakeholders throughout the process, including the Real Estate and Housing Regulatory Policy Division of the NSW Department of Customer Service and the NSW Office of the Registrar General.
“This collaboration has been extremely beneficial for all involved,” he said.
Calling the submission a “colossal” piece of work, Mr McKibbin thanked the members of Strata Management Chapter Committee for their time and effort.
“All REINSW members, and the wider industry, will undoubtedly benefit from their work.”