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The first strata titles legislation in the world was created right here in NSW exactly 50 years ago. But how much do you know about it?
Considering half the population will be living in strata in the next 20 years, it would be nice to think most of us had some idea how it works.
Maybe we should have a test – like the one for your driving license or citizenship – before you are allowed to rent or buy in strata … and certainly before you’re allowed to stand for the executive committee.
I joke, of course. But here’s a taste of the kind of questions you might ask yourself, people you know who are about to move into strata, your EC members or, even better, your local MP.
Answers at the end of the column – no peeking?
1. Can tenants be members of executive committees?
2. In a ‘poll’ vote at an AGM, how is the voting based: a) per owner, b) per adult resident, c) a figure based roughly on the value of your apartment?
3. Are Owners’ Corporations obliged to enforce their by-laws?
4. Can the Owner’s Corporation prevent owners from entering common property?
5. Can you clamp or tow visitors’ cars parked illegally on common property?
6. Is there a limit on the number of proxy votes one person can use at a general meeting?
ANSWERS: 1. Provided they are legally nominated by an owner, anybody can be on the Executive committee. Tenants don’t even need to be nominated by their own landlord.
2. c: your votes are your unit entitlements which is the figure used to calculate your levies and is (very roughly) based on the relative value of your home.
3. No in NSW, but yes in Victoria and Queensland.
4. Yes – common property isn’t shared property and sometimes it’s in everyone’s interests to restrict access, for instance, for safety reasons.
5. No. It’s against the law.
6. No. There is a limit of two per voter in Queensland but “proxy farming” is still rife in NSW, especially where there’s a high percentage of investor owners.
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