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QA New Victoria Legislation – No Change for Sellers

new-victorian-legislation

Question: Do the changes to Victoria legislation make reference to OCs where owners are interested in selling their block. Is there a new percentage of owners who need to agree to the sale?

Answer: It’s ignored completely, there’s no change.

Unfortunately, no. In my opening I made the point that I thought there were a lot of missed opportunities in this legislation, and that’s one of them. They’ve gone into so much detail about contracts, the disclosure of any beneficial relationship on the part of the manager, if you’re going to receive a commission or other benefit. There’s just so much regulation and proscription tied up in those things, which is really not necessary because again, there’s a dearth of cases where that’s ever occurred.

Philosophically, I will say that government is informed by the government department, which is Consumer Affairs and Consumer Affairs is the entity that receives consumer complaints. So it’s looking at it from bottom up, not top down, unfortunately. That’s what drives policy.

Anyway, back to the direct question. It was completely ignored as were a lot of other things that really should have been considered – important issues. There are a lot of distractions in this legislation about minor or superfluous nugatory points. We had the model of New South Wales went in at 75% five years ago. There are different regimes around the world. Everywhere is trending towards something less than unanimous and it just didn’t get mentioned. It’s ignored completely, there’s no change unfortunately. I’m very critical of that, if that is not already palpably obvious.

But you do have VCAT. So in the same way that VCAT can order the amendment of a plan in an unanimous resolution, the same applies to termination of an Owners Corporation. I’ve got one running at the minute that I’ll be able to report on one day hopefully (if we win of course).

VCAT is there and can make that order. Unfortunately, legislation ignored it, and it’s lamentable that it did so.

Tim Graham
Bugden Allen Graham Lawyers

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