Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 No 50
Current version for 1 July 2020 to date (accessed 10 July 2020 at 06:59)
Part 14
Part 14 Miscellaneous
256   Functions of Secretary
The functions of the Secretary under this Act include the following—
(a)  investigating and carrying out research into matters relating to or affecting strata schemes,
(b)  investigating and attempting to resolve complaints and disputes relating to strata schemes and taking any action that the Secretary thinks appropriate,
(c)  prosecuting any offence established by or under this Act,
(d)  providing information to owners or occupiers of lots in strata schemes, owners corporations, lessors of leasehold strata schemes, strata managing agents and the public about this Act and the services provided by the Secretary and the Tribunal,
(e)  investigating and reporting on any matters, or making inquiries in relation to any matters, referred to the Secretary by the Minister in connection with this Act.
257   Delegation by Secretary
The Secretary may delegate the exercise of any function of the Secretary under this Act (other than this power of delegation) to—
(a)  any member of staff of the Department, or
(b)  any person, or any class of persons, authorised for the purposes of this section by the regulations.
257A   Personal liability of Secretary and persons acting under Secretary’s direction
(1)  A matter or thing done or omitted to be done by the Secretary, or a person acting under the direction of the Secretary, does not, if the matter or thing was done or omitted to be done in good faith for the purpose of executing functions under this Act, subject the Secretary or person so acting personally to any action, liability, claim or demand.
(2)  However, any such liability attaches instead to the Crown.
258   Tenancy notice to be given to owners corporation of leases or subleases
(1)  If a lot is leased, the lessor must give notice of the lease, in accordance with this section, to the owners corporation not later than 14 days after the commencement of the lease.
Maximum penalty—5 penalty units.
(2)  If a lot is subleased, the sub-lessor must give notice of the sublease, in accordance with this section, to the owners corporation not later than 14 days after the commencement of the sublease.
Maximum penalty—5 penalty units.
(3)  If a lease or sublease of a lot is assigned, the assignor must give notice of the assignment, in accordance with this section, to the owners corporation not later than 14 days after the execution of the assignment.
Maximum penalty—5 penalty units.
(4)  The notice must be in writing and specify—
(a)  the name of the tenant and an address for service of the tenant, and
(b)  the date of commencement or assignment of the lease or sublease, as the case requires, and
(c)  the name of any agent acting for the owner in respect of the lease or sublease.
Note.
 An address for service of notices may be an Australian postal address or other electronic address, including an email address (see section 261).
(5)  This section does not apply to the lease of a lot by the lessor of a strata leasehold scheme to a lessee who is the owner of a lot.
(6)  A notice under this section is to be given to the original owner if it is given during the initial period of the owners corporation for a strata scheme.
259   Notice to be given to owners corporation of mortgagee taking possession of lot
If a mortgagee of a lot takes possession of the lot, the mortgagee must give written notice of that fact to the owners corporation within 14 days of taking possession of the lot.
Maximum penalty—5 penalty units.
260   Personal liability of officers of owners corporations and others
(1)  A matter or thing done or omitted to be done by any of the following persons, or a person acting under the direction of any of those persons, does not, if the matter or thing was done or omitted to be done in good faith for the purpose of executing functions as such a person under this or any other Act, subject any of the following persons or person so acting personally to any action, liability, claim or demand—
(a)  an officer of an owners corporation,
(b)  a member of a strata committee.
(2)  Any such liability of an officer of an owners corporation or a member of a strata committee attaches instead to the owners corporation.
261   Address for service
An address for service given under this Act may be an Australian postal address or an email address.
262   Service of documents on an owners corporation
(1)  A summons or other legal process may be given to an owners corporation by leaving it with the chairperson or secretary of the owners corporation, any member of the strata committee or the strata managing agent (if any) or by posting it, by prepaid mail, to the owners corporation at its address recorded in the folio of the Register comprising the common property.
(2)  A document other than a summons or other legal process may be given to an owners corporation—
(a)  by leaving it with the chairperson or secretary of the owners corporation or a member of the strata committee or in the letterbox of the owners corporation, or
(b)  by posting it, by prepaid mail, to the owners corporation at its address recorded in the folio of the Register comprising the common property, or
(c)  by emailing it to an email address specified by the chairperson or secretary of the owners corporation or a member of the strata committee for the service of documents.
263   Service of documents by owners corporation and others
(1) Application of section This section applies to a notice or other document required or authorised under this Act or the by-laws to be given by the Secretary, the Tribunal, an owners corporation, the lessor of a leasehold strata scheme, the original owner, a strata committee, the secretary of an owners corporation or a strata managing agent and is subject to the other provisions of this Act.
(2) Service on occupier of lot A notice or other document may be given to the occupier of a lot—
(a)  by post at the address of the lot, or
(b)  by leaving it at the address of the lot with a person apparently of or above the age of 16 years.
(3) Service where address is included in strata roll If an address for the service of notices on a person is recorded in the strata roll or has been notified in a tenancy notice, a document may be given to the person—
(a)  in the case of a postal address, by post at that address, or
(b)  by leaving it at that address with a person apparently of or above the age of 16 years, or
(c)  in the case of an email address, by email to an email address specified for the service of documents.
(4) Service on owner of lot A document may be given to the owner of a lot in accordance with subsection (3) or if no address for service is recorded on the strata roll—
(a)  personally, or
(b)  by post at the address of the lot, or
(c)  by leaving it on a part of the lot that is the owner’s place of residence or business (otherwise than on a part of the lot provided for the accommodation of a vehicle or as a storeroom), or
(d)  by leaving it in a place provided on the parcel for receiving mail posted to the lot, or
(e)  in any other manner authorised by the by-laws for the service of notices on owners.
(5) Service of notice to produce certain records and property Notice under section 182 may be given to a person—
(a)  personally or by post, or
(b)  by leaving it with a person apparently of or above the age of 16 years at the place of residence or place of business of the person who is to be given the notice.
(6) Service on person where building included in part strata parcel A document may be given to a person in whom is vested an estate in fee simple, or, in the case of a leasehold strata scheme, a leasehold estate registered under the Real Property Act 1900, in part of a building or its site, another part of which is included in a part strata parcel, in any manner provided by section 170 of the Conveyancing Act 1919.
264   Service of documents
(1)  A document that is authorised or required by this Act or the regulations to be given to any person (other than as required by section 262 or 263) may be given by—
(a)  in the case of an individual—
(i)  delivering it to the person personally, or
(ii)  sending it by post to the address specified by the person for the giving of documents or, if no such address is specified, the residential or business address of the person last known to the person giving the document, or
(iii)  emailing it to an email address specified by the person for the service of documents, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—
(i)  leaving it with a person apparently of or above the age of 16 years at, or by sending it by post to, the head office, a registered office or a principal office of the body corporate or to an address specified by the body corporate for the giving or service of documents, or
(ii)  emailing it to an email address specified by the body corporate for the service of documents.
(2)  Nothing in this section affects the operation of any provision of a law or of the rules of a court authorising a document to be given to a person in any other manner.
265   Change of owners corporation’s address
(1)  An owners corporation may change its address for the service of notices by deciding in general meeting to make the change and lodging in the office of the Registrar-General a notice in the form approved under the Real Property Act 1900 of the change of address.
(2)  On receiving the notice, the Registrar-General is to make the recordings that the Registrar-General considers appropriate in the folio of the Register comprising the common property for the scheme.
(3)  If the strata scheme relates to a part strata parcel, the owners corporation must give notice in writing of the change to the building management committee.
(4)  If the strata scheme is part of a community scheme, the owners corporation must give notice in writing of the change to the community association and, in the case of a strata scheme that is also part of a precinct scheme, to the precinct association.
(5)  A change of address does not take effect until it is recorded in the Register in accordance with this section.
266   Dividing fences
(1)  The owners corporation for a strata scheme for a parcel that is not a part strata parcel is taken to be the owner of the land constituting the parcel for the purposes of the Dividing Fences Act 1991.
(2)  The owners corporation for each strata scheme for a part strata parcel including part of a building and each person in whom is vested an estate in fee simple in a part of the building or its site that is not included in the part strata parcel are taken to be the owners of the land constituting the building and its site.
(3)  This section does not apply to land that is part of a community scheme or to any part of a parcel that is the subject of a lease accepted or acquired by an owners corporation under section 25 of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015.
(4)  A strata management statement may apportion liability arising under the Dividing Fences Act 1991, but only between persons bound by the statement.
267   Apportionment of statutory charges
(1)  This section applies to expenditure by a public authority that would, because of any Act or of anything done under the authority of any Act (including the registration of a covenant charge), be a charge on the land comprised in a parcel if the parcel were not the subject of a strata scheme.
(2)  The expenditure is a charge on—
(a)  in the case of a freehold strata scheme, each lot in the strata scheme for an amount bearing to the whole of that expenditure the same proportion as the unit entitlement of that lot bears to the aggregate unit entitlement, or
(b)  in the case of a leasehold strata scheme, the lease of each lot in the strata scheme for an amount bearing to the whole of that expenditure the same proportion as the unit entitlement of that lot bears to the aggregate unit entitlement.
(3)  The owner or mortgagee of a lot the subject of a charge referred to in this section may pay to the authority entitled to the charge the amount of the charge and on payment—
(a)  the lot or the lease and the appurtenant beneficial interest in the common property are freed from the charge, and
(b)  the authority has no legal rights against the owner of the lot or lease or appurtenant beneficial interest in common property in relation to the subject-matter of the charge.
268   Powers of entry by public authority or public officer
A public authority or public officer authorised by any Act to enter on part of a parcel for the purpose of exercising any power conferred on it may enter on any other part of that parcel (and, if it is a part strata parcel, any other part of the building concerned or its site, whether or not it is part of a parcel) if it is necessary to do so in order to exercise that power.
269   Notices under Real Property Act 1900 to owners corporation taken to be notices to owners
A notice given to an owners corporation under Part 2, 4 or 15 of the Real Property Act 1900 is taken to have been given to each owner of a lot in the strata scheme concerned in the absence of evidence that the contents of the notice were not communicated by the owners corporation to any owner of such a lot.
270   Contracting out prohibited
(1)  The provisions of this Act and the regulations have effect despite any stipulation to the contrary in any agreement, contract or arrangement entered into after the commencement of this section.
(2)  No agreement, contract or arrangement, whether oral or wholly or partly in writing, entered into after the commencement of this section operates to annul, vary or exclude any of the provisions of this Act or the regulations.
271   Regulations
(1)  The Governor may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, for or with respect to any matter that by this Act is required or permitted to be prescribed or that is necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.
(2)  In particular, the regulations may make provision for or with respect to the following—
(a)  the forms to be used for the purposes of this Act,
(b)  the fees to be paid for applications made to the Secretary under this Act and the remission of fees,
(c)  the nomination and election of members of strata committees,
(d)  alternative dispute resolution under this Act,
(e)  the procedure for meetings of the owners corporation of a large strata scheme,
(f)  the delegation of functions of the owners corporation of a large strata scheme,
(g)  the decisions or classes of decisions that may or may not be made by the strata committee of a large strata scheme,
(h)  the functions of officers of an owners corporation of a large strata scheme,
(i)  the management of the administrative fund or capital works fund of the owners corporation of a large strata scheme,
(j)  the exclusion of a particular class or classes of strata scheme from any or all of the provisions of Part 12,
(k)  requiring information and other matters to be brought to the attention of owners and strata committee members in respect of the provision of legal services to an owners corporation,
(l)  requirements for agreements between owners corporations and local councils relating to strata parking areas under section 650A of the Local Government Act 1993,
(m)  the service of documents by electronic means under this Act,
(n)  the form in which documents required to be provided or delivered under this Act may be so provided or delivered.
(3)  A regulation may create an offence punishable by a penalty not exceeding 200 penalty units.
271A   Regulation-making power for COVID-19 pandemic
(1)  The regulations under this Act may provide for the following matters for the purposes of responding to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic—
(a)  altered arrangements for convening a relevant strata meeting, including arrangements for the issue or service of notices and other documents in relation to the meeting,
(b)  altered arrangements for the means of voting at a relevant strata meeting, including—
(i)  the circumstances in which the altered arrangements for voting may apply, and
(ii)  conditions that apply to the way the vote is exercised,
(c)  an alternative to affixing the seal of the owners corporation, including any requirements for witnessing or attesting to the alternative way,
(d)  extension of a time period in which a thing is required to be done under the Act.
(2)  However, a regulation made under subsection (1)(d) must not result in the total time period within which the thing is required to be done to be extended to be a time period of more than 6 months.
(3)  Regulations made under this section—
(a)  are not limited by the regulation-making power in this Act, and
(b)  may override a provision of this Act.
(4)  Regulations made under this section expire on—
(a)  the day that is 6 months after the day on which the regulation commences, or
(b)  the earlier day decided by Parliament by resolution of either House of Parliament.
(5)  This section is repealed on—
(a)  13 November 2020, or
(b)  a later day, not later than 13 May 2021, prescribed by the regulations.
(6)  In this section—
relevant strata meeting means—
(a)  an annual general meeting or other general meetings of an owners corporation for a strata scheme, or
(b)  a meeting of the strata committee of an owners corporation.
272   Persons who may keep seals of owners corporations
(1)  If an owners corporation has only one owner, the seal of the owners corporation must be kept by the owner or by the strata managing agent of the owners corporation.
(2)  If an owners corporation has 2 or more owners, the seal of the owners corporation must be kept—
(a)  by an owner, or member of the strata committee, that the owners corporation determines is to keep the seal or, in the absence of a determination, by the secretary of the owners corporation, or
(b)  by the strata managing agent of the owners corporation.
(3)  A strata managing agent is entitled to custody of the seal of an owners corporation only to permit the exercise of the strata managing agent’s functions.
(4)  Section 50 (2) and (3) of the Interpretation Act 1987 do not apply to an owners corporation.
Note.
 Section 50 (1) (b) of the Interpretation Act 1987 provides that statutory corporations are to have a seal. Section 50 (2) and (3) of the Interpretation Act 1987 contain provisions relating to the keeping of the seal of a statutory corporation and the authentication of documents by a statutory corporation.
273   Affixing of seal of owners corporation
(1)  The seal of an owners corporation that has only one owner or 2 owners must not be affixed to any instrument or document except in the presence of the owner or owners or the strata managing agent of the owners corporation.
(2)  The seal of an owners corporation that has more than 2 owners must not be affixed to any instrument or document except in the presence of—
(a)  2 persons, being owners of lots or members of the strata committee, that the owners corporation determines for the purpose or, in the absence of a determination, the secretary of the owners corporation and any other member of the strata committee, or
(b)  the strata managing agent of the owners corporation.
(3)  The strata managing agent must attest the fact and date of the affixing of the seal—
(a)  by his or her signature, or
(b)  if the strata managing agent is a corporation, by the signature of the president, chairperson or other principal officer of the corporation or by any member of staff of the corporation authorised to do so by the president, chairperson or other principal officer.
(4)  A strata managing agent who has affixed the seal of the owners corporation to any instrument or document is taken to have done so under the authority of a delegation from the owners corporation.
(5)  Subsection (4) does not operate so as to enable a person to fraudulently obtain a benefit.
(6)  A person is taken not to have fraudulently obtained a benefit from the operation of subsection (4) if the benefit was, without any fraud by the person, obtained before the seal was affixed.
274   Act to bind Crown
(1)  This Act binds the Crown in right of New South Wales and, in so far as the legislative power of the Parliament of New South Wales permits, the Crown in all its other capacities.
(2)  However, Division 5 of Part 2 and Parts 3, 4, 5, 6 (except sections 122, 123 and 124 and Division 6), 8, 9 and 10 do not apply to or in respect of a strata scheme if the Crown is the owner of all lots in the scheme.
Note.
 The reference to the Crown covers statutory bodies representing the Crown and NSW Government agencies.
275   Repeals
The following are repealed—
276   Review of Act
(1)  The Minister is to review this Act to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives.
(2)  The review is to be undertaken as soon as possible after the period of 5 years from the date of assent to this Act.
(3)  A report on the outcome of the review is to be tabled in each House of Parliament within 12 months after the end of the period of 5 years.