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Strata Managers Summary of Amendments | 1.Owners Corporation Tier Classification

One of the key important changes to the Act is to identify the Tier Category (Tier 1-5) that your Owners Corporation will fall under. This will involve deployment of the change on the legal records, carry out further regulatory requirement checks depending on the number of occupiable lots and take necessary steps to meet any further requirements driven from this change.
The tiers are structured as follows:
Tier One: More than 100 occupiable lots;
Tier Two: 51 to 100 occupiable lots;
Tier Three: 10 to 50 occupiable lots;
Tier Four: 3 to 9 occupiable lots; and
Tier Five: 2 occupiable lots or a services only Owners Corporation.

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Strata Managers Summary of Amendments | 2.Insurance Costs and Levies

Owners Corporations will have greater power to levy fees to specific lot owners for additional expenses that are directly contributed by a specific lot owner’s use of their lot when the existing lot liability (apportionment of cost) would not sufficiently take account of these additional costs.
An Owners Corporation may ask a lot owner to pay:
An increase to an insurance premium that has been caused by gross negligence or a wilful act of the lot owner themselves, their tenant or guests;
Consider whether Lot entitlements and liabilities are different and, if they are, whether it would be fairer to apportion the cost of replacement and replacement insurance based on Lot entitlement.
An insurance excess if a claim relates directly to the owner’s lot; and
Fees to cover damage to the common property that has been caused by a lot owner and is not covered by insurance.
It’s important to note that occupiers of lots are considered responsible for their guests’ behaviour, and consequently, they may both be liable for any breach of the Owners Corporations’ rules.

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Strata Managers Summary of Amendments | 24.VCAT Procedures

28 Oct 2021

Hear and determine disputes 

  • a term (including whether the term is fair) of a Manager’s Contract of Appointment; and

  • the disposal of abandoned goods from common property.

Make orders
VCAT may also make an order:

  • requiring a Lot owner to pay reasonable costs incurred by the Owners Corporation in recovering an unpaid amount from the lot owner (other than costs in the proceeding). This suggests that previously unrecoverable costs, such as fees for issuing Final Fee Notices, can now be recovered; and

  • requiring an occupier of a Lot to grant entry to a person authorised by the Owners Corporation to carry out repairs, maintenance or other works.

Issue Penalty for Breach of Rules:
VCAT may order a penalty payable for $1,100.00 (from $250.00).
Must consider:
In respect of disputes regarding a Manager’s Contract of Appointment, VCAT must consider the Australian Consumer Law.
Prosecuting and defending claims made at VCAT by Owners Corporations and Lot owners;
Provisions added to allow a Lot owner to apply to VCAT on behalf of an Owners Corporation. Example, where a resolution has not passed and they make application to the VCAT.  It is then up to a lot owner to prove to the Tribunal why the lot owner should not be permitted to take the action.

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