Significant strata title amendment has been introduced in Western Australia.
The Strata Title Amendment Act 2018 and the Strata Titles (General) Regulations 2019 commenced on 1 May 2020.
The changes to the strata title regime include increased seller disclosure obligations and the introduction of leasehold strata.
Increased disclosure requirements
Before a buyer signs the offer and acceptance contract, the seller must provide information including:
- Estimated strata levy contributions over a 12-month period.
- The most recent statement of accounts of the strata scheme.
- The minutes from the most recent Annual General Meeting of the strata company or any other general meeting that’s been held since.
Disclosure requirements are set out in s 156 of the Strata Title Act 1985.
A seller must also give the buyer information about certain variations to the scheme as they happen, after the buyer signs the contract and before settlement.
Leasehold strata title is essentially a strata or survey-strata scheme that is set up for a fixed term between 20 and 99 years.
The majority of the Strata Titles Act 1985 applies to leasehold schemes in the same way as it applies to freehold schemes.
The owner of a lot in a leasehold scheme has a long-term lease of a lot. A leasehold lot that is the subject of a strata lease within a leasehold scheme will have its own certificate of title, and a separate certificate of title is issued for the registered proprietor of the parcel of land over which the leasehold scheme is registered. The owner of a lot in a leasehold scheme can transfer the lot and the strata lease, and mortgage the lot without the lessor’s consent. Owners of the lots are members of the strata company and decide how to run the leasehold scheme.
Schemes no longer require a Management Statement to accompany and form part of the by-laws.
Details of staged development are now set out in the scheme by-laws and are called ‘staged subdivision by-laws’.
The amendments ensure the rights of lot owners who have already bought into earlier stages of the scheme are protected, while making the process more efficient for developers.
The By Lawyers Conveyancing – Sale and Purchase of land Guides have been updated accordingly.
A second stage of reforms introducing community title are expected to commence towards the end of this year.