In June 2020, the New South Wales Government passed legislation to further regulate the design and construction of residential buildings. Since the Opal Tower and Mascot Tower defects in New South Wales, buyers have lost confidence in larger sized strata properties.
The new legislation was passed in the form of:
The Residential Apartments Act will be enforced from 1 September 2020.
So, what has changed and what do you need to know?
The statutory duty of care section of the legislation has been changed to now require a new duty of care by persons who are involved in construction work on certain buildings to take reasonable care to avoid economic loss to current and future owners caused by building defects.
To ensure a higher standard of compliance, building and engineering practitioners will be required to comply with the Building code of Australia and other relevant Australian Standards.
The Secretary of the Department of Customer Service now has authority to stop work orders in relation to building work which could result in significant harm or loss and to prohibit an occupation certificate in respect of a residential building from being issued in certain circumstances.
The amendments to the Residential Apartments Act will affect a person who arranges building work to be carried out, the owner of the land on which the building work occurs, principal contractors and developers of strata schemes.