As of this month important and mandatory reporting requirements have come into force. These changes have been designed to have a centralised “strata information hub”. Strata Hub is a NSW Government initiative in response to community feedback that information on strata schemes is too difficult. It is aimed at providing transparency, accountability, better regulation and engagement with all stakeholders in the Strata Community.
These changes are set out in the Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Information) Regulation 2021. They affect all Owners Corporations, and committees particularly Chairpersons and Secretaries must be aware of these provisions. We provide a link to the legislation but in in this article we summarise what we consider are the most important parts.
We will be assisting all Schemes under management to meet their obligations to file their returns on time.
Late May is the launch of the pilot scheme and testing phase. The regulation does not commence until 30th June 2022, and users can register from this date.
These obligations do not apply to company title properties.
Schemes are required to lodge annual returns with Fair Trading and pay an administration fee of $3 per lot. Payment options are currently being explored such as BPAY or Credit Card payment.
The returns are to be lodged to Fair Trading within three months of each AGM. However, for strata schemes that run their first AGM on or before 1 May 2022, this timeframe extends to 1 August 2022.
After the first return lodged with Fair Trading, there is a continuing obligation to update information within three months of a scheme’s AGM.
The information in the returns will be downloaded by Fair Trading to a specially constructed database and some of the contents of the Strata Hub will be available to the public.
Any changes to information already provided will be required to be updated or corrected within 28 days after the secretary or managing agent becomes aware of circumstances requiring this action. Those that do not provide these updates will face fines of up to $2,200.
What information will the annual report contain?
The annual report is detailed, and as mentioned some information allowed to be disclosed publicly. The report is split into the following sections.
a) the strata plan number for the strata scheme
b) the date that the strata scheme’s plan was originally registered
c) for strata schemes that are part of a larger community scheme, the registration date for the community scheme and its plan number
d) for strata schemes that are part of a precinct scheme, the registration date for the precinct scheme and its plan number
e) the address of the strata scheme
f) the total number of lots that are in the strata scheme
g) the number of lots in the strata scheme used for following purposes:
h) if the scheme has any NABERS ratings – the ratings that are assigned to the strata scheme
i) the date that the strata scheme’s interim and final occupation certificates were issued, if the scheme received these certificates
j) the date of the most recent annual fire safety statement, for buildings that must have one
k) for any class 2 buildings in the scheme, how many storeys the building has above ground
l) the insured replacement value for the strata scheme or – if the strata scheme is only a part of a larger building – the replacement value for the part of the building that holds the scheme
m) the contact details for the secretary of the owners corporation:
n) the contact details for the chairperson of the owners corporation:
For privacy purposes the owners corporation should consider providing a phone number and an email address for the secretary and chairperson
o) the contact details for the strata managing agent (if there is one):
p) the contact details for the building manager (if there is one):
q) details of the emergency contact person for the strata scheme and their connection
r) the date of the most recent AGM
s) the balance of the scheme’s capital works fund, as reported in its most recent financial statement
t) whether the strata scheme has formed a strata renewal committee
The strata manager’s details cannot be used in lieu of the committee’s details.
The details from the annual return, which will be made public on the NSW Fair Trading website, will include the following:
All users that access the Hub will be required to verify their identity and complete an authorisation and privacy declaration before uploading or accessing information on the Hub. NSW Government will have records of access to the reporting function and penalties will apply for unauthorised access.
Tenants will have access to the Strata Hub if the tenants’ details have been provided and are listed on the Strata Roll.
Summary of Information Matrix
Up to $220 for providing incorrect information & not correcting it
Up to $5,500 for an initial failure to provide the information by the required deadline