Reforms in place to manage buildings better

Released 28/11/2019 - Joint media release

Canberrans will benefit from fairer and easier ways for owners, residents and businesses to live and work in buildings that are part of a units plan.

Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman said the Managing Buildings Better reforms had been developed in close consultation with industry and the community.

“The reforms introduced today will provide better outcomes for residents and businesses to manage the shared spaces they live in, work in, and enjoy,” Mr Gentleman said.

“It’s become even more important to ensure those living and buying into apartments and townhouses get a fair go as Canberra continues to grow and our Planning Strategy focuses development around employment and transport hubs.”

“One major change will mean that buyers will receive more regular updates during apartment construction and can exit their contract when a developer makes changes they are unhappy with instead of having to wait until settlement, freeing them to move on to other opportunities.”

Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said that as Canberra continued to grow it was essential that arrangements in buildings were more flexible and suitable to modern living for all parties.

“By engaging in a thorough consultative process with industry and community groups, we have been able to prioritise a series of reforms that will benefit those that own, live or work in buildings across the ACT,” Mr Ramsay said.

“This means empowering buyers and existing owners with upfront information on their rights and responsibilities, providing fairer and more equitable distribution of building costs, and creating a more compact and family friendly city with greater accessibility for family pets.”

Key reforms include:

  • Better information to buyers about levies, maintenance and potential uses of buildings, including notifications on significant changes to developments after a sale.
  • Greater opportunity to improve the future maintenance of buildings by requiring mandatory building maintenance plans from developers.
  • Encouraging pet-friendly apartments, making approval processes for pets clearer and easier and reducing the administrative burden for owners’ corporations.
  • More ways for people to have their voices heard by allowing flexible voting and communication arrangements.
  • Fairer division and distribution of building costs (such as water, maintenance and insurance), with the ability for owners corporations to tailor an approach that best suits the building and use of facilities.
  • Improved governance arrangements in situations where a units plan shares a building with other separate leases.

View the reforms in more detail at:

- Statement ends -

Section: Gordon Ramsay, MLA | Mick Gentleman, MLA | Media Releases

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