Consumer Affairs Victoria is undertaking a review of the following consumer property legislation:
- Estate Agents Act 1980
- Owners Corporations Act 2006
- Conveyancers Act 2006
- Sale of Land Act 1962
The review will:
- identify opportunities to modernise and improve the legislation, taking into account stakeholders’ experiences and industry developments since each Act came into operation
- examine whether the legislation efficiently and effectively regulates the conduct of licensed practitioners involved in the sale of land, real estate transactions and management of owners corporations
- recommend changes to improve the way the legislation operates.
The following proposals have been made for reform of the Owners Corporations Act 2006, Part 5 of the Subdivision Act 1988 and the Retirement Villages Act 1986. Further proposals will be published on this page at a later date.
Proposals to improve the governance and financial administration of, and internal relations in, owners corporations
- Clarify relationships and reduce disputes in owners corporations in multi-storey apartment buildings by:
- enabling them to make rules controlling smoke drift from private lots, and
- developing a Model Rule on smoke drift that requires residents to ensure that their smoke does not penetrate to the common property or any other lot.
- Restrict ‘proxy farming’ and committee proxies, and prohibit contractual limitations on lot owners’ voting rights.
- Reduce insurance and other inequities between lot owners by permitting owners corporations to separately levy lot owners for:
- the cost of building insurance premiums on the basis of lot entitlement and differential risk
- insurance excesses and increased premiums resulting from culpable actions
- insurance excesses relating to single-lot claims
- unrecoverable damage to common property, and
- maintenance costs arising from particular uses of lots.
- Enhance owners corporations’ ability to initiate legal actions by applying different voting thresholds for actions in different courts.
- Improve decision-making in owners corporations, particularly inactive owners corporations, by providing for special resolutions that do not obtain the required voting threshold, but which are unopposed, to be treated as interim special resolutions.
- Clarify relationships and reduce disputes in owners corporations by:
- enabling them to make rules protecting the interests of other residents during private-lot renovations
- excluding rules that unreasonably prohibit the installation of sustainability items, and
- developing a Model Rule on the process for changes to the external appearance of private lots
- enabling them to make rules restricting access to common property and services
- developing a Model Rule providing for a default position of unrestricted access to common property and services by residents in normal circumstances
- permitting owners corporations to dispose of goods abandoned on the common property.
Proposals to improve the quality of owners corporation managers and enhance protection for owners corporations
- Prohibit certain terms in owners corporation management contracts and give the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) the power to rule generally whether other terms in management contracts are unfair.
- Strengthen disqualification provisions and the current registration scheme for professional owners corporation managers.
- Expand the fiduciary obligations of owners corporation managers regarding procurement of goods and services on behalf of owners corporations, influencing voting on owners corporation matters, and owners corporations’ access to their financial records.
- Deliver a voluntary, ongoing and targeted information and training program for owners corporation managers in a partnership between Consumer Affairs Victoria and industry bodies.
- Options for reform of the Owners Corporations Act 2006 - public consultation closed on 16 December 2016
- Sale of land and business: options for reform - public consultation closed on 28 April 2017
- Estate agents and conveyancers: options for reform - public consultation closed on 16 May 2017
- Conduct and institutional arrangements for estate agents, conveyancers and owners corporation managers - public consultation closed on 11 March 2016
- Owners corporations – public consultation closed on 29 April 2016
- Sale of land and business - public consultation closed on 13 May 2016
As part of this review, the Minister for Consumer Affairs approved the release of three issues papers for public consultation. The purpose of these papers was to raise issues for consideration and comment, and draw out evidence and commentary from stakeholders about the nature of the issues and the extent of any problems.
Following the close of public consultation on the issues papers, work commenced on developing options for reforming each of the four Acts being examined by the review.
Options papers setting out potential reforms to the Owners Corporations Act 2006, Estate Agents Act 1980, Conveyancers Act 2006 and Sale of Land Act 1962 have been released for public consultation.
Submissions will be made available on our website after the closing date for each paper.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com
Consumer property law review video