The new NSW strata renewal legislation can provide a way out for ageing strata complexes to be sold as a collective sale or for redevelopment, and in some cases all owners will be in favour of such a development. But not always – determining how old is too old is a subjective matter and some people are quite happy to stay put and fear that no matter how much they may be paid for their particular unit they may be priced out of the surrounding area.
It’s worth noting that you can make Part 10 of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 work for you as a “dissenting” owner as long as you get a few more people on board. Part 10 requires a lengthy, convoluted and fairly technical process in order to have an Owners Corporation obtain court approval to a collective sale or redevelopment. As long as you can form a “bloc” which collectively holds more than 25% of the unit entitlements in the scheme you will have some power to block the proposal.
The Owners Corporation will be seeking approval from lot owners at a couple of points in the process. Initially a Special Resolution is required to approve distribution of the strata renewal plan to lot owners for consideration. Initially only a vote by lots is required but it is always possible to call for a poll and in that case it is determined by unit entitlements – so if lot owners holding 25% of the unit entitlements do not agree to that, there will be no distribution and no strata renewal.
However even if that opportunity is lost, later in the process Support Notices will be required and they must be received from owners of more than 75% of the lots in the strata scheme so, with a little collective bargaining, you may be able to form a bloc to keep home sweet home as it is.
Be aware however that if you do not hold the magic 25% and the strata renewal process proceeds all the way to the ultimate sale then you as a “dissenting” owner will be paid in accordance with the provisions of section 55 of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act which in effect will mean that you will be paid at market value plus any amounts for “special value”, for disturbance or disadvantage from relocation, but that may well not be as much as the other owners may obtain from a developer. So sometimes opting out until the bitter end may leave a bitter taste.
We can assist you whether you are in favour of the strata renewal process or concerned to possibly block it – whatever your position our property team can guide you along the way.