Amendment to Strata Scheme Management for Sustainability Infrastructure
Written on the 23 July 2021
The Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Sustainability Infrastructure) Act 2020 has been taking place since early 2021. This new bill amends the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, putting ease to owners corporations who wish to install eco-friendly facilities for residents. The amendment is placed to ease the approval of sustainability infrastructure, including solar panels and electric car chargers in the common property.
Before the bill is enacted, the threshold of implementing a "sustainability upgrade" resolution requires 75% of owners to be in favour of the motion. Ever since, the threshold has been lowered to a simple majority of 50% vote, making it easier for the owners corporation to facilitate sustainable infrastructure.
What is Sustainability Infrastructure?
"Sustainability Infrastructure" is defined in the Act as a change to common property that implements any sustainability measures; that includes installation, modification, replacement of a property to serve one of the following purposes:
- To reduce the consumption of energy and increase the consumption efficiency of energy,
Resolution Considerations Before Approval
Prior to sustainability infrastructure's resolution approval, there are four factors that the owners corporation need to consider; that includes:
Cost - The owners corporation needs to consider the cost of the sustainability infrastructure, including any running and maintenance costs, fixed and variable costs, etc. This factor needs to be considered to apportion the additional cost of the infrastructure among lot owners who use the facility.
The Strata Schemes Management Act 2020 has made several amendments to the Act, in which some have taken place, and some have not. The amendments that have been commenced provide clarifications regarding:
Meeting procedures - Clause 26 at schedule 1 of the Act has been amended to clarify that an owner who owns more than one lot in the strata scheme may delegate a proxy to attend meetings.
On the other hand, the amendment that is yet to commence include matters regarding:
Pet in strata scheme - The amendment will be commenced on 24 August 2021 is concerning pets in a strata scheme. A new section 137B has been made to extend the by-law prohibiting pets in a strata scheme. Meaning, the owners corporation has the right to refuse lot owners from keeping a pet in their lot.