New requirements for Rental Bonds Online and more
 
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Real estate and property reforms

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The Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017 was passed by the Legislative Council on Wednesday 7 March 2018.

The reforms will affect licensing and qualifications, the roles that can be undertaken at different levels of qualification and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. The next step in this process is to draft the necessary amendments to the regulations.

It is anticipated the qualification, licensing and changes to roles will commence late 2018. The CPD guidelines are currently being reviewed in line with the reforms.

You will find details on upcoming real estate reform information seminars at the bottom of this newsletter.

 

Have your say on changes to the Strata Building Bond and Inspections Scheme

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The NSW Government is proposing a small set of changes to the Strata Building Bond and Inspections Scheme (the scheme).

Under the scheme, developers are required to lodge a bond of 2% of a building’s contract price with NSW Fair Trading for residential and mixed-use high-rise strata buildings of 4 or more storeys. The bond can be used to pay the costs of rectifying any defective building work identified through an inspection process required by the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.

The proposed Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Building Defects Scheme) Bill 2018 is now available for public consultation. The proposed amendments seek to enhance the ability of Fair Trading to verify the building contract price (on which the 2% building bond is based), and to clarify the role of the building inspector in the scheme.

Visit our website for more information on how you can have your say by Friday 11 May 2018.

 

Window safety devices in strata buildings

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To prevent children from falling from windows, strata schemes must have window safety devices installed on all applicable windows. Strata building windows must be fitted with safety devices where the internal floor is more than 2 metres above the external surface outside and within a child's reach (less than 1.7 metres above the internal floor). When the safety device is engaged, it must restrict the window opening to be less than 12.5cm and the device must be able to withstand a force of 250 newtons (which is equal to 25 kilograms of force).

If a strata scheme does not have devices installed, the owners corporation is leaving young children vulnerable to falls from windows. Owners corporations can be fined up to $550 for non-compliance if convicted by a court. Owners who obstruct an owners corporation can also be fined.

To report a strata scheme that is not complying with the window safety device requirements, send an email to windowsafety@finance.nsw.gov.au along with the following information:

  • your name and contact details
  • the address of the strata scheme
  • the managing strata agent's name and contact details (or Secretary's details, if there is no managing agent).

For more information, visit the Window safety device requirements page on our website, or call 13 32 20.

 

Call for submissions on cladding  - closes 23 April 2018

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Fair Trading is calling for public submissions on whether a building product use ban is warranted for some uses of aluminium composite panels, polystyrene products or similar.

In particular whether a ban is warranted for their use in any external cladding, external wall, external insulation, façade or rendered finish on a building of two or more stories.

More information and details on how to make a submission are included on the NSW Fair Trading website.

 

eConveyancing update

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A recent report by KPMG to investigate the impact of eConveyancing suggests it brings opportunity, with these standout benefits: 

  • elimination of almost all risks associated with human error, such as misplaced or incorrectly signed documents (since all parties can review transactions online and easily correct mistakes in real time)
  • immediate transmission of settlement funds in most cases
  • instant registration on title
  • time savings of 3.25 hours (65%) for a vendor’s lawyer and 4.25 hours (70%) for a purchaser’s lawyer.

The timeline for transition to eConveyancing in NSW is advancing, with all stand-alone transfers and caveats, along with mortgages and discharge of mortgages, to be lodged electronically from 1 July 2018. This also means those who normally lodge paper documents in person without formal legal representation will need to consult a lawyer or conveyancer who is registered for eConveyancing from 1 July 2019.

Download the KPMG report  in PDF format (size: 1.8 mb) or visit the PEXA website to find a lawyer or conveyancer who is already using eConveyancing.

To learn more about eConveyancing in NSW, visit the Office of the Registrar General website

 

Upcoming events

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Don’t miss out on booking your place at the upcoming real estate reforms information seminars:

  • Epping - 9 May
  • Five Dock - 23 May
  • Campbelltown - 14 June
  • Windsor - 21 June
  • Abbotsbury - 25 July
  • Doyalston - 1 August
  • Mudgee - 16 August

Other upcoming events include: 

  • Residential Land Lease Communities Information Seminar - Tweed Heads - 9 May
  • Strata Schemes Information Seminars (for owners and tenants) – Tweed Heads – 9 May; Woy Woy - 13 June; Abbotsbury - 25 July
  • Self-managing Landlords Information Seminars – Tweed Heads – 9 May; Cobar - 30 May; Woy Woy - 13 June; Abbotsbury - 25 July
  • Strata Schemes Information Seminar (for professionals) – Abbotsbury - 25 July

Visit our events register for details.

 
fairtrading.nsw.gov.au