Changes to the Strata Schemes Management Act to allow for sustainability infrastructure
The Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Sustainability Infrastructure) Bill 2020 is anticipated to be in effect in early to mid-2021. The amendment proposes to make it easier for owners corporations to install “sustainability infrastructure” on the common property by changing the resolution required to get approval from the owners corporation.
The current threshold required to implement a ‘sustainability upgrade’ is a special resolution – 75% of the owners in favour of the motion based on unit entitlement and registration of two by-laws; s108 and s143.
Once the bill is enacted, the threshold will be lower to a simple majority (50 per cent of owners in favour and entitled to vote at a general meeting).
What is sustainability infrastructure?
‘Sustainability infrastructure’ is defined in the Bill as changes to a part of the common property (which includes the installation, removal, modification or replacement of anything on or forming part of that property) for one or more of the following purposes:
- to reduce the consumption of energy or water or to increase the efficiency of its consumption,
- to reduce or prevent pollution,
- to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill,
- to increase the recovery or recycling of materials,
- to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
- to facilitate the use of sustainable forms of transport (including installing electric vehicle charging stations).
- a purpose prescribed by the regulations.
Before a sustainability infrastructure is resolution is approved, the Bill requires the owners corporation to consider four factors:
- the cost of the sustainability infrastructure and works including any expected running and maintenance costs,
- who will own, install and maintain the sustainability infrastructure,
- the extent to which the use of the sustainability infrastructure will be available to all or some of the lots in the strata scheme,
- any matter prescribed by the regulations.
A copy of the bill can be viewed at parliament.nsw.gov.au/bill
At the time of writing this update, the Bill is with the Legislative Assembly awaiting consideration of Legislative Council amendments.
Strata Plus will be providing updates on this Bill as it moves forward.
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