With the help of the CDP and the Shooters’ Party the Government’s Strata Schemes Development Bill has passed the NSW Upper House.
This means that a provision allowing the collective sale of a strata scheme with the support of just 75% of owners will now come into force.
The Greens raised concerns and proposed amendments in both the Lower and Upper Houses, but our calls for protection of home-ownership rights were ignored.
Watch Jenny Leong's parliamentary speech from the debate below.
There are approximately 75,000 strata title schemes currently registered in New South Wales with more than 100 additional schemes being registered every month. The vast majority—around 90 per cent—of those schemes are residential.
The number of people living in strata scheme properties will increase as our population increases. By 2040 half of Sydney's residents will live in strata.
This law unfairly takes away security of home-ownership from people who have bought into strata schemes. It also brings insecurity for tenants living in strata, whose rental homes can now be subject to a collective sale even if their own landlord does not directly support the sale.
The Greens do not support any legislation that removes security of home ownership. There are real fears that these measures will force people from their homes against their will.
Greens spokesperson for Rental, Tenancy and Strata Jenny Leong MP said:
“We have been contacted by many community members who are extremely concerned by this legislation. They are fearful because their home, which is a unit in a strata scheme, can be forcibly taken away from them if the majority of owners of the lots in their building decide to sell. Many of them are older residents who, approaching retirement, invested in a property that would provide them with security through their later years. This legislation takes away that security.
“While there are claims that owners will be well compensated by the developers pouncing on their properties, the reality is that many owners who are forced to sell will be priced out of their local area, and cut off from their communities and support networks.
“While some owners might be happy with a quick profit, some vulnerable owners will face dislocation and disconnection from the communities they have known for decades.
“One argument used to defend this proposal is that it is in the interests of urban renewal, that older buildings will be replaced by newer, more sustainable developments. However there is no requirement that this has to be the aim of a redevelopment.
“The law applies to all schemes, not just old or rundown buildings. There are very real concerns that decent, affordable housing could be bulldozed to make way for luxury accommodation in desirable areas, forcing low and middle income earners further from city-centres.
“This law will have devastating impacts on the community, taking away people’s security and – in some instances – taking away people’s homes.”