NSW Fair Trading COVID-19 Strata Guidance
NSW Fair Trading has published guidance on how the Public Health Orders affect people living and working in strata and community schemes. The guidance is good news as it confirms much of the information Strata Plus circulated in our COVID-19 committee and owner communications.
Please be aware that the guidance is evolving as lobbying continues by SCA NSW and OCN on certain aspects such as meetings, interest on levies, and transfer of monies from the Capital Works Fund. Also, please note that the guidance was written at a point in time with particular measures in place.
We encourage you to read through the detail of the ten (10) items covered in the guidance
- Stay at home rules
- Owners corporation responsibilities
- Socialising in the complex
- Common area and shared facilities
- Levies and contributions
- Short-term accommodation
- Repairs, maintenance, fire inspections and rental inspections
- Meetings and voting.
We take this opportunity to highlight some key points:
Item 6 Common areas and shared facilities
Confirmation that shared recreational facilities are to be closed.
Item 7 Interest on arrears
Whilst the guidance states that waiving interest on levy arrears is to be at a general meeting, legal advice has been provided by a number of legal firms that approval at a committee meeting is adequate. Though we recommend that there be a general meeting motion to confirm the list of lots where interest was waived.
Item 10 Voting
We follow SCA NSW position that the holding of face-to-face meetings is not considered safe even if in a common area. Based on information from both SCA NSW and OCN we are expecting a change in the published guidance noting that it is currently inconsistent with Item 6 where the use of common areas is limited to three reasons.
Should you have questions, please ask your strata manager.
Everyone in our strata community should be proud of the speed at which we have reacted and dealt with the COVID situation. The decrease in infections is a credit to all, especially as we live and work in a more dense people environment. And it’s been wonderful to witness the care and compassion shown in our strata community.
We look forward to a lessening of the government measures.
Stay safe and healthy.
The Strata Plus Team
6 May 2020