With almost a quarter of Greater Sydney residing in strata buildings, the latest COVID lockdown continues to present new and unique challenges for the NSW Government to consider. The Delta variant has been widely reported to be more transmissible and virulent compared to previous strains so these micro-communities that live along side, above and below one another and share common spaces must take extra care to operate in a COVID safe manner.
This article set outs some of the changes to strata schemes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
From 13 July 2021, the NSW Government made it mandatory for residents, staff and visitors of strata schemes within Greater Sydney to wear masks in all indoor common areas of residential premises. This includes lifts, garbage areas, carparks, lobbies, stairwells, corridors and any indoor areas that residents may pass through.
Strata Managers and members of the strata committee have been encouraged to display Government approved posters in common areas and at building and car park entrances to remind residents of the requirement to wear a mask.
Whether shared facilities such as laundries, pools, spas, saunas and gyms within strata schemes are open to residents will remain at the discretion of each strata scheme. However, owners corporations are encouraged to ensure facilities can operate safely and comply with physical distancing and hygiene measures. If adequate measures cannot be implemented to ensure personal safety, then these facilities should be temporarily closed.
If an owners corporation temporarily closes facilities on the common property, a notice of closure must be posted, so that all residents are aware.
Amendments have been made to the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 from 21 July 2021 to facilitate the continued operation and decision making of a strata scheme’s owners corporation during lockdown. Unless repealed earlier, these amendments will remain in place until 20 January 2022.
The amendments allow:
notice of a strata meeting and any document in relation to the meeting to be given to a person by email;
voting at a meeting to be carried out by electronic means such as teleconferencing, videoconferencing or email;
instruments and documents to be signed by the following persons rather than having to affix the seal of the owners corporation:
(a) 2 lot owners who have been appointed by the owners corporation to make such determinations;
(b) the secretary of the owners corporation and one other member of the strata committee; or
(c) strata managing agent.
The amendments reinstate most of the changes that were introduced by the Strata Schemes Management Amendment (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 which were repealed on 12 May 2021.
Henry William Lawyers can assist with any related enquiries, contact:
Ron Zucker 0410 590 111
Vincent Tripodina 0408 228 108
Chelsea Woodward 0404 065 899