Consumer Affairs Victoria is seeking views on how the law could make life better for more than a million Victorians living in or impacted by owners corporations.

owners corps

An options paper released today sets out a range of possible reforms to the Owners Corporations Act 2006, including streamlining the ways owners corporations make decisions and resolve disputes.

“Owners corporations are responsible for managing and maintaining common property, such as gardens, lifts, stairwells, driveways and fences,” Consumer Affairs Victoria director Simon Cohen said.

“Their decisions can have financial and lifestyle ramifications for lot owners in a wide range of both residential and commercial developments, and affect the look, feel and amenity of properties.

“This is why it is so important to take a close look at the legislation and make sure it helps owners corporations run fairly, efficiently and effectively.”

The options paper has been shaped by feedback that apathy of or divisions between some lot owners is leading to ineffective owners corporations that cannot plan and pay for important maintenance.

The options paper seeks views on possible reforms, including to:

  • increase the knowledge and skills of owners corporation managers
  • make management contracts fairer
  • allow owners corporations to make rules for pets, smoke-drift and renovations
  • change the requirements for special resolutions and reduce the size of management committees
  • allow owners corporations to make rules to assist lot owners in financial hardship, while streamlining processes for recovering outstanding debts.

Mr Cohen said this is the first options paper released as part of the Consumer Property Law Review.

The review is also examining the Estate Agents Act 1980, the Conveyancers Act 2006 and the Sale of Land Act 1962. Options for reforming each of these Acts will be released in the coming months.

“The Consumer Property Law Review is looking for opportunities to improve and modernise these Acts, and views from the public and industry will help shape how they work into the future,” Mr Cohen said.

To view the Owners Corporations Act options paper and make a submission, visit our Consumer property law review page.

Submissions close on 16 December 2016.

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