VULNERABLE APARTMENT OWNERS SERVED UP TO BIG DEVELOPERS

Proposed changes to NSW’s strata title laws would see many elderly and vulnerable apartment owners turfed out of their homes to fatten up the profits of developers and other residents, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Innovation and Better Regulation Minister Victor Dominello released draft legislation yesterday that would allow a strata title to be terminated and the land and buildings sold or redeveloped even if up to 25 per cent of the owners objected.

Owners could have flats sold from under them if laws go ahead,’ Sydney Morning Herald, 16 July, p. 2

Collective sale and renewal reforms’ NSW Office of Fair Trading, July 2015

Dr Kaye said: “The long-awaited draft of the strata laws contains a massive gift for the greedy at the expense of the vulnerable and elderly.

“Politically powerful real estate developers have won the argument and are set to be gifted a much lower barrier to getting their hands on older unit blocks.

“The frail and the vulnerable will be forcibly evicted from out their homes to allow the big developers to get their hands on prime real estate.

“This is the law that the Property Council would have written to set their members up for windfall profits.

“Instead of having to win over all of the owners or prove that the block can no longer be reasonably repaired, the tyranny of the majority can evict the minority from their homes.

“Lucrative offers might appeal to some unit owners, but others will see their plans for their last days of independent living destroyed.

“The Baird-Grant government has once again proved that it is the powerful vested interests that call the shots, even when it is the frail, the vulnerable and the elderly who are being sacrificed.

“The promise of advice and advocacy services is window dressing. A determined and well-cashed-up developer will have no difficulty in winning over the necessary 75 percent of owners, leaving the others powerless and evicted, regardless of the advice and so-called support they receive.

“The legislation will be a test for Labor.

“We will be moving to strike out these provisions when the bills come before parliament.

“If Labor is still caught up in their old habits of being the puppets of the developer lobby they will work with the government to disenfranchise flat owners.

“With Labor and conservative cross-bench support for our amendment, every flat owner will be better protected from the well-oiled developer industry and the pressure it can bring to bear on owners’ corporations,” Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

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