ONE OF THE BEST arguments I’ve come across for scrapping the states and having one centralised government is the vast array of different laws when it comes to strata issues in Australia. But here, at least, is a list of starting points for advice. But be warned, they maybe just the first link in a long chain before you get a definitive answer … if there is one.
National Community Titles Institute
Post PO Box 2477, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006
Phone (07) 3257 3920
Fax (07) 3257 3932
The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA)
NEW SOUTH WALES
The OwnersCorporation Network is a dynamic organisation that brings togehter members of the executive ommittees of many of Sydney’s largest and most prestigious buildings to share information and lobby government. Check them out on their website www.ocn.org.au.
NSW Fair Trading
For all strata issues, in the first instance you can always phone the Office of Fair Trading or call your nearest Fair
Trading Centre or specialist service listed below. A range of Fair Trading services are also available via Government Access Centres
(GACs) and other agency locations throughout NSW.
There are Fair Trading Centres in Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Blacktown, Broken Hill, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Gosford,
Goulburn, Grafton, Hurstville, Lismore, Liverpool, Newcastle, Orange, Parramatta, Penrith, Port Macquarie, Queanbeyan, Sydney,
Tamworth, Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga and Wollongong
Phone 13 32 20
Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Services (TAAS) are independent community-based organisations. They help both private and public tenants by providing tenancy advice, information and advocacy. The best-known tenants’ service is the Tenants Union www.tenants.org.au.
Tenancy Advisory Services
Inner Sydney (02) 9698 5975
Inner Western Sydney (02) 9559 2899
Eastern Sydney (02) 9386 9147
Northern Sydney (02) 9884 9605
Southern Sydney (02) 9787 4679
Western Sydney (02) 9891 6377
South Western Sydney (02) 4628 1678
Central Coast (02) 4353 5515
Hunter (02) 4929 6888
Mid North Coast 1800 777 722
Northern Rivers 1800 649 135
Illawarra/South Coast 1800 807 225
North Western NSW 1800 836 268
South Western NSW 1800 642 609
Aged Tenants Service (02) 9281 9804 or 1800 451 488
Tenants Union Hotline (02) 9251 6590 or 1800 251 101
Aboriginal Tenancy Advisory Services
Greater Sydney (Sydney Metro, Hawkesbury, Wyong, Gosford, Blue Mountains & Wollondilly) (02) 9564 5367
Outside Sydney 1800 772 721
Southern NSW 1800 672 185
Western NSW 1800 810 233
Northern NSW 1800 248 913
Fair Trading Services
General enquiries 13 32 20
Language assistance 13 14 50
TTY for hearing impaired 1300 723 404
Aboriginal tenancy 1800 500 330
For strata, you’ll find most of what you need on the NSW Office of Fair Trading’s website (www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au) in its “Real Estate & Renting” section.
Strata Community Australia
Level 1, Suite 102, 845 Pacific Highway Chatswood, NSW 2067
02 9492 8200
The Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW)
Post 30-32 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney South, NSW 2000
Phone (02) 9264 2343
Fax (02) 9267 9190
Consumer Affairs Victoria
Victorian strata laws have just undergone a huge revamp and the dust is yet to settle on how exactly they are going to operate. CAV is the government department responsible for administering the Victorian Fair Trading Act. Consumer Affairs provides information on a range of issues, conciliation services, and is the complaint-handling body for consumers in Victoria. You will find an amazing amount of good advice and material on their website. Strata material can mostly be found in the “Apartments & Units” section of their “Buying and Selling Property” pages.
Consumer Affairs Victoria
Post Level 2/452 Flinders Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Phone 1300 55 81 81
Fax (03) 9627 6007
Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA)
The RTBA holds all tenancy bonds in a neutral capacity as a trustee for landlords and tenants. The RTBA can only repay bonds as agreed by the landlord and tenant or as directed by VCAT or a court.
Post Locked Bag No 3040, GPO Melbourne, VIC 3001
Phone 1300 13 71 64
Fax (03) 9627 6277
Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCat)
VCAT operates independently of Consumer Affairs Victoria. It is similar to a court but not as formal, and deals with issues in many areas, including disputes arising from the Residential Tenancies Act.
Office 55 King Street, Melbourne
Post GPO Box 5408cc, Melbourne, VIC 3001
Phone (03) 9628 9800, 1800 13 30 55
Fax (03) 9628 9822
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria Ltd
office 335 Camberwell Rd, Camberwell
Post PO Box 443, Camberwell, VIC 3124
Phone (03) 9205 6666
Fax (03) 9205 6699
Owners Corporations Victoria, formerly the Institute of Body Corporate Managers, the Victorian strata managers responded to the recent change in strata laws and changed their name. The ACTUAL Owners Corporation organisation – ie, the one that represents OWNERS – hadn’t registered their name. But the simple fact is that OCV are strata managers with all that that implies. They are not an owners’ organisation, per se.
phone (03) 9629 7373
In Victoria, activities of Strata Title managers are governed by the Subdivision Act 1988 and the Subdivision Act (Body Corporate)Regulations 1989 administered by the Department of Infrastructure.
Phone (03) 9655 6666.
Owners … and others
You’ll find the Queensland Body Corporate Association – which covers everyone from individual owners and bodies corporate to strata managers etc etc at www.qbca.org.
Advice, Complaints And Disputes
The Queensland Department of Tourism, Fair Trading and Wine Industry Development is the body now in charge of Body Corporate and Community Title issues. I say now because previously Body Corporate matters shared an in-tray and Minister with horse racing. There is a tenuous connection between tourism and Community Titles, as they are called in the Sunshine State, if only through the blight of short-term rentals in residential developments. But Wine Industry Development?
Anyway, this department offers advice as well as a mediation and adjudication service for Strata Title disputes. The initial dispute resolution service is free but if there is a failure to reach agreement, it can go to mediation and adjudication, under which a legally binding order can be made. The latter services may attract a fee. The department’s website also offers a whole range of forms that are mandatory in the running of Body Corporates, as well as an up-to-date set of brochures aboute Body
Corporates and their management.
However, Queensland’s Community Title laws are being reviewed yet again so it’s best you obtain the latest information directly from the department.
The Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management
Office Level 11, BOQ Centre, 259 Queen Street, Brisbane
Post GPO Box 1049, Brisbane, QLD 4001
Phone 1800 060 119
Fax (07) 3227 8023
The Community Titles Institute Queensland Limited is the peak organisation for all with an interest in the administration of Community Titles and Strata-Titled properties.
“The CTIQ membership is diverse and includes Body Corporate managers, members of a Body Corporate committee in addition to allied professionals such as lawyers, accountants and real estate agents” (it says here).
Post PO Box 1280, Spring Hill, QLD 4004
Phone (07) 3839 3011
Fax (07) 3832 4680
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) represents real estate agents in Queensland and has a searchable website.
Office 21 Turbo Drive, Coorparoo
Post PO Box 1555, Coorparoo DC, QLD 4151
Phone (07) 3249 7347
Fax (07) 3249 6211
email reply form on website
Department of Land Information
Office 1 Midland Square, Morrison Road, Midland
Post PO Box 2222, Midland, WA 6936
Phone (08) 9273 7373, 1300 556 224
Fax (08) 9273 7666
The Department of Consumer & Employment Protection is the department responsible for administering the Western Australian Fair Trading Act and Consumer Affairs Act. Log on to their website then go to “Homebuyers Survival Guide” for information on buying a home.
The Strata Titles Institute of Western Australia (STIWA) is an association of professional people and organisations actively involved in the Strata Titles profession, including strata company managers, surveyors, financial and insurance service providers, conveyancers, solicitors, real estate agents, property and Strata Title consultants.
Office Suite 19/17 Prowse Street, West Perth
Post PO Box 7, West Perth, WA 6872
Phone (08) 9481 5122
Fax (08) 9481 5121
The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA)
Post 215 Hay Street, Subiaco, WA 6008
Phone (08) 9380 8222
Fax (08) 9381 9260
Office Of Consumer & Business Affairs
This is the government department responsible for administering the South Australian Fair Trading Act. The Office provides consumer information services on a range of issues, and is the state-based complaint handling body for consumers in SA.
Post Level 4, 91-97 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, SA 5001
Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA)
Office REI House, 249 Greenhill Road, Dulwich, SA 5065
Phone (08) 8366 4345, (08) 8366 4300
Fax (08) 8366 4380
The Tasmanian Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading is the state-based complaint handling body for consumers. This is where you’ll find information about buying, renting or letting.
Office Level 3, 15 Murray Street, Hobart
Post GPO Box 1244, Hobart, TAS 7001
Phone 1300 65 44 99
Fax (03) 6233 4882
Strata Titles in Tasmania come under the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment.
Phone 1300 135 513
The Real Estate Institute of Tasmania (REIT)
Office 33 Melville Street, Hobart
Post GPO Box 868, Hobart, TAS 7001
Phone (03) 6223 4769
Fax (03) 6223 7748
The ACT’s Planning and Land Authority has nominal responsibility for the Unit Titles legislation. The ACT government website Canberra Connect (www.canberraconnect.act.gov.au) is the place to look for information on buying and selling property as well as renting and letting.
ACT Office of Fair Trading is the government department responsible for administering the Fair Trading Act. The Office provides consumer information services on a range of issues, and is the state-based complaint handling body for consumers in the ACT. It has published a downloadable booklet (a hefty 10 Mb, mind you) called Reality Check which purports to be everything you need to know about buying and selling property in the ACT.
Office Ground Floor, 12 Moore St, Canberra City
Post GPO Box 158, Canberra City, ACT 2601
Phone (02) 6207 0400
Fax (02) 6207 0538
Real Estate Institute of the ACT (REIACT)
Post 16 Thesiger Court, Deakin, ACT 2600
Phone (02) 6282 4544
Fax (02) 6285 1960
The Unit Titles Act is administered by the Northern Territory Attorney-General’s Department. You can download the Real Property (Unit Titles Act) from the Attorney General’s website .
Office Nichols Place, Cnr Cavenagh & Bennett Streets, Darwin
Post GPO Box 3021, Darwin, NT 0801
Phone (08) 8999 6520
Fax (08) 8999 6239
The Office of Consumer and Business Affairs, Department of Justice is the state based complaint handling body for consumers in the Northern Territory and monitors business compliance with the Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading Act. The Office provides information and assistance on home building and renovating, property and tenancy issues.
Basically, if you are interested in any aspect of housing you need to log on to their website (www.caba.nt.gov.au), click on“consumers” and download the relevant PDF document. You will find a range of property related documents available for downloadin various sections, including guides for landlords and tenants and forms for them to fill in at various stages in their tenancies.
Post GPO Box 1722, Darwin, NT 0801
Phone (08) 8999 1999
Fax (08) 8999 6260
Real Estate Institute of the Northern Territory (REINT)
post Unit 3/6 Lindsay Street, Darwin, NT 0801
phone (08) 8981 8905
fax (08) 8981 3683
Here are the links to the various strata legislations and, where available, consumer guides for the states and territories. As legislation evolves, these links may change – please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you encounter a ‘dead’ link. Also, if anyone tracks down an online guide to strata living in the NT, please let us know.
Australian Capital Territory
A full list of all relevant legislation, state by state, can be found on Strata Community Australia’s website HERE.