A Tenant’s Representative? – Really?

15 September 15

There are a number of interesting changes proposed by the NSW Government under the Strata Schemes Management Bill 2015, which is expected to go before Parliament by the end of this year.

The most fascinating is a proposal that tenants of lots in a strata scheme may nominate a “tenant representative” for the Strata Committee. This will only apply to the strata scheme if there are tenants in at least half of the lots.

Now this may sound good if you are a tenant in a building but have a look at the detail!

The tenant representative is:

  • not entitled to vote on decisions of the Committee or to put a motion or nominate a person for office, and
  • not entitled to act as an officer of the Owners Corporation for Committee purposes, and
  • cannot be counted in determining whether there is a quorum of the Committee.


In addition, the Strata Committee at any meeting may determine that the tenant representative is not entitled to be present when the following matters are being discussed or determined:


  • Financial statements and auditors’ reports;
  • Levying of contributions;
  • Recovery of unpaid contributions;
  • A strata renewal proposal under the Development Act; and
  • Any other financial matter specified by the Strata Committee.


The Regulations will no doubt provide the procedures for nomination a tenant representative, including the term for which a tenant representative is appointed and the notification of an appointment.

Talk about warm and fuzzy legislation that has no teeth to it!

On a separate issue, it is interesting to note that the Government has now incorporated a new section in the Management Bill which specifically places a duty on each member of a Strata Committee of an Owners Corporation to carry out his or her functions for the benefit, so far as practical, of the Owners Corporation and with due care and diligence. Surprisingly, there has never been a similar requirement in past or existing strata legislation in New South Wales.


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