116. Do strata committee vacancies need to be filled? And short term letting update

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This week, Reena and I take a deep dive into the process for filling vacant committee positions. Reena recaps the rules for the correct completion of proxy forms – particularly when it comes to corporate owners, and we each share our take on the NSW government’s recently announced proposals for regulating short term letting in our strata buildings. This is a jam-packed episode. Enjoy!

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9 Comments. Leave new

  • Neville Monk
    June 13, 2018 5:16 pm

    Hi Amanda, Does the new proposed Legislation on Short Term Letting mean that Owner /Occupiers can let their property for Short Term Letting when the Owner/Occupiers are not in residence? i.e; they may be away on holidays for 6 months . Or must the Owner/Occupier be resident in the apartment while it is being let for Short Term Rent?

    Reply
    • Hi Neville,
      Thanks for the question. The proposed reforms would see owner occupiers permitted to short term let up to 180 days in a year. We understand this to mean “when they are absent”. If they are present, it looks like they will be allowed to let as many nights as they like (eg – they can consistently short term let one room while they are also in residence). Note that these are proposed reforms only at this stage. We won’t have details until we see the legislation itself.

      Reply
    • Philip Colless
      March 19, 2019 9:35 am

      As a building manager at Pyrmont (inner Sydney) here are some stats from one apartment block I manage.
      Short term letting is not permitted in the building in the original development consent nor by the strata bylaws.
      2014 to 2019, we have shut down 28 Short term Lettings. 24 of these were for the entire apartment and four were spare bedroom. 27 out of 28 were rental units; only ONE owner occupier.
      Not even one of the 28 hosts asked for permission (council, owners corp, leasing agent, landlord) to carry out short term letting. All made some effort (or a lot of effort) to hide/deny the activity. There were five cases of hosts cloning security access fob tags.
      Of the 27 rental units, mostly it was the lessee hosting the short term letting, but sometimes the lessee was acting as a front person for the host.
      Most of these “hosts” were operating multiple properties for short term letting (usually about five apartments each. Though the worst had 150! You might have seen him on ABC 7.30 Report).
      This video is the only source where I have read that the legislation proposes to restrict short term rental hosting to “owner occupiers”.
      Elsewhere, terms like “owners AND occupiers” or “principal place of residence” are used…both of which will include tenants/lessees.
      From my personal experience, the persons hosting commercial short term letting are not owners.
      Giving strata schemes the capacity to ban tenants/lessees from conducting short term letting is critical.
      Apparently about half Airbnb listings are for entire homes (which are available for short term rental 100% of the time). I would guestimate at least 90% of their commissions come from entire home listings.
      The NSW Coalition government has rolled over for Airbnb and the like . If they get reelected, expect more loss of rental accommodation and more calls for tax payer funded low cost housing for displaced renters. (With the property market stalling, there won’t be any new developments commencing for the next few years, so no developer contributions to fund construction of “affordable housing” projects for City West and the like.

      Reply
  • singaustralia
    June 14, 2018 9:10 pm

    Thank you Amanda and Reena. Recently an office bearer of a Committee that I know sold her property so soon will resign from the Committee. The question was asked whether another owner could fill out a nomination form and lodge it with the strata manager and thereby she could remain on the Committee. My understanding is that such a situation is NOT possible as the nominations and elections need to occur at the AGM.

    The remaining members of the Committee have called for nominations to fill the vacancy and will use those nominations to assist them in appointing the person to fill the vacancy and thereby hopefully avoiding dissection among the owners.

    As the person is vacating, will the Committee and the new person need to formally select Office Bearers or can the incoming person be appointed directly as Chairperson ?

    Reply
    • Hi singaustralia, I have recently been pondering this one myself as I am working with a building in a similar situation. In my view, if a strata committee is filling a vacancy, anyone who is not an owner but says they are ‘eligible’ is going to need a nomination (otherwise they are not eligible…) so a written nomination should still be provided, even though they are not being elected at a general meeting. In relation to replacement of office bearers, it should be clear from the outset which office the incoming committee member is replacing, and they automatically fill that office and do not need to be elected to it. Eg: if the chairperson resigns, and the wife of the owner in unit 2 says “I’m happy to be chair”, then her husband (owner of unit 2) should email his written nomination of his wife to the strata manager, and the committee votes to accept the nomination and fill the position of chair.

      Reply
  • singaustralia
    June 14, 2018 9:33 pm

    Regarding the discussion on Proxy forms… if the owner of a lot is a Company – how do you know WHO the directors are and how many there are?

    Reply

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