We strive to inform, educate, support and advocate for strata owners and residents.
These are just some of our achievements:
RIGHT TO DECIDE: We achieved a hard-fought ability for owners corporations to prohibit investor owners from short term letting and commissioned a members-only proforma short term letting by-law to effect that.
PROTECTION: Our 2019 advocacy caused the NSW government to legislate a retrospective statutory duty of care owed to NSW Strata owners by building practitioners.
CONSULTATION: Driving the creation of a NSW Strata Portal, a first for Australia. This portal will allow government agencies to communicate directly with Owners Corporations and identify and analyse strata trends to better support owners.
REPRESENTATION: We were called to give testimony on behalf of strata owners to the NSW Inquiry into the Regulation of Building Standards, Quality and Disputes.
EXPERTISE: OCN was an active participant in stakeholder roundtables during the development of the NSW Design and Building Practitioners Bill and provided advice to the government on improving protection for strata buyers and apartment owners.
RIGHTS: Our lobbying resulted in the NSW government permitting Owners Corporations to protect the rights of residents to peaceful enjoyment through OCs banning short-term letting by non-residents.
PROTECTION: OCN partnered with the UNSW City Futures Research Centre to carry out research into the cause of and solutions to the high level of avoidable defects in residential strata buildings.
SAFETY: OCN was vocal on the issue of identifying and rectifying flammable cladding including a social media campaign, support for affected members and obtaining legal advice and that advocacy has continued into 2020.
PROTECTION: Our advocacy permitted residential strata schemes, including mixed use buildings where the residential component exceeds 50%, and buildings valued at more than $50 million to access the Australian Terrorism Pool so they are now insured for terrorism related events.
GOVERNANCE: We collaborated with industry bodies to develop NSW government policy which facilitated a lower voting threshold for Strata Renewal with a robust protective framework for dissenters.
CONSUMER RIGHTS: We facilitated the requirement for a defect bond for buildings over three storeys and succeeded in having Developers prohibited from voting on defects in the crucial first years of a scheme’s life.
REPRESENTATION: We have participated as members of major government and industry committees and boards including the NSW Building Professionals Board, the NSW Fair Trading Strata Reference Group, the City of Sydney Residential Apartment Sustainability Reference Group, and the NBN Lift & Fire Alarm Migration Group.
FUTURE-FOCUS: We are signatories to Planning for People: A Community Charter for Good Planning in NSW. OCN is also a Founding Partner with UNSW City Futures Research Centre in producing the Australia-first “Governing the Compact City” report, generating substantial media interest in building defects and the 2015 report on Economically Viable and Socially Sustainable Approaches to Urban Redevelopment (strata renewal) .
STRATEGIC THINKING: To ensure long-term protection of property, we successfully advocated for NSW Capital Works/Sinking Fund Plans with 10-year plans now required on a sliding scale relating to size and age of plan.
BUYER PROTECTION: We caused the creation of a Register of Home Owners Warranty certificates to prevent forged certificates. OCN also caused a breach of defect rectification orders by builders to be an offence, and achieved a ban on developers acting as strata manager for the first ten years of their building’s life and avoiding defects rectification.
TRANSPARENCY: We initiated the legislative obligation for NSW developers to deliver “as built” plans and drawings to the Owners Corporation.
GOVERNANCE: In 2005 we caused legislative change requiring the circulation of minutes and agendas, and also in 2005 a requirement for 10 Year Sinking Fund Plans (now Capital Works Fund Plans). In 2015 it became mandatory for those plans to be linked to the annual budget and if they are not, an explanation for this must be provided to owners.
INFLUENCE: In 2003 we achieved legislative change recognising “large strata schemes”.
ADVOCACY: In 2002 as a result of our advocacy, the NSW Government convened the Joint Select Committee on the Quality of Buildings. We have consistently worked to raise public awareness of the correlation between private certification and building defects.