A fairer process for scheme termination
A new process will soon guide the collective sale or redevelopment of strata schemes, sometimes referred to as a scheme termination.
- The changes being made will provide safeguards around scheme terminations for all strata owners in a way that doesn’t currently exist.
- Termination and redevelopment of strata scheme land is increasingly sought-out by West Australians, with many buildings ageing and costing owners large amounts in maintenance.
There will be a complete, transparent process which must be followed to implement a termination. The cost of this process is covered by the proponent (the person or group wanting to terminate the scheme).
For schemes of 4 lots or less the decision to terminate the scheme must be unanimous for the termination to proceed.
For schemes of five lots or more, the following new protections are in place:
- The proponent must provide a report detailing what they propose and what compensation they are offering to each owner.
- An independent advocate will be appointed to review the report and present to the owners their assessment of the proposal.
- If there is a majority of 80% or over agreeing to the termination, then the proposal will be referred to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for a ruling.
- Under the new laws, SAT will only allow a termination if they consider the proposal is just and equitable and objecting owners will receive fair market value for their lot and are not financially worse off.
- SAT will be guided by the new regulations to use the current market value of the existing property in this assessment. They will be empowered to request changes be made to a termination proposal to make it fairer, including making more compensation available for individuals.
- During SAT proceedings, the dissenting owners will be provided with representation services at the expense of the proponent.
- Additionally, those owners who are assessed as vulnerable owners will be provided with extra assistance such as an interpreter, and financial guidance throughout the process, also at the expense of the proponent.