Updates to the Community Schemes legislation comes into force on 1 December 2021 with key changes outlined in the Community Land Development Act 2021 and the Community Land Management Act 2021.
From 1 December, these new laws and regulations will make the development process of NSW community schemes far easier. This comes as a much-welcomed relief to community scheme developers and owners who have previously battled with the current provisions. Governance arrangements will also be modernised and made more flexible for developers, residents and commercial occupants of community lands.
What has changed in the Community Land Development Act 2021?
Some of the most important changes to familiarise yourselves with include the following:
A change to the definition of the initial period
The definition of the ‘initial period’ will change from 1 December. If there is no subsidiary scheme within a community or precinct scheme, the initial period will end once an occupation certificate under the Environment Planning and Assessment Act 1979 is issued. This occurs when development is completed on land as required by a development consent. Alternatively, the initial period for a neighbourhood scheme ends when one-third of the scheme’s total unit entitlement has sold.
Alignment of strata legislation with the staged development provision
Development contracts under the new Community Land Development Act 2021 will be much more flexible and transparent. This will be achieved by aligning with the strata legislation found within the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 through remodelling the staged development provision. The changes are:
- The development contract can now include schedules of contributions to help itemise expenses and determine who is responsible for payment
- Additional association property can be created as long as it is disclosed in the development contract
- Requirement for meetings to authorise identified items in a development contract as development concerns.
Purchase adjoining land to add to a community scheme
Associations and owners can now purchase adjoining land outside of their scheme to add to the community parcel. This gives developers the option to increase their development size by adding neighbouring properties on adjoining land to be part of the community parcel in the future.
Termination of a scheme by Registrar-General
Under Part 9, Division 2, Section 68, termination of a scheme can be made by the Registrar-General. Details of the proposed termination and a statement of intention to make the application must be publicly notified at least 14 days before an application is made.
Changes to unanimous resolutions
Certain matters will no longer require a unanimous resolution. Instead, a special resolution can attend to these matters, helping speed up developments within a scheme, which previously might have been held up by one owner. This special resolution can apply to matters including:
- Creating an easement
- Converting a development lot to association property
- Removing a development lot from the community scheme
Unit entitlement schedules extension
The timeframe to lodge revised schedules of unit entitlement at the end of a development to subsidiary schemes has been extended.
Neighbourhood development contracts are now optional
From 1 December, it is no longer compulsory to register a neighbourhood development contract. Instead, new provisions allow for an optional neighbourhood development contract.
Restrictions for a waiver of certain responsibilities removed
Developers and owners have more flexibility when applying to the Tribunal for a waiver of certain responsibilities during the ‘initial period’ of a scheme, such as requesting variations when required by the development.
Where can I find more information?
Learn more about the new laws and regulations by following the below links:
Get in touch
To find out more about the upcoming Community Land Development Act 2021 changes and what this means for your scheme, contact the friendly team at The Strata Collective today.