The Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Building Defects Scheme) Bill 2018 (NSW) was passed by Parliament on 19 September 2018 and is now awaiting assent.

The amendments to the strata building bond and inspections scheme include: 

  • new investigative powers for Fair Trading NSW to enable verification of the amount of the contract price or building bond;
  • developers must lodge a building bond before applying for an occupation certificate (instead of lodging at any time before an occupation certificate is issued);
  • developers and owners corporationsare to agree on the amount to be released from a building bond for fixing of identified building defects. Failing agreement, the Commissioner for Fair Trading will determine the amount to be released;
  • a proposed offence for developers for providing false or misleading information regarding the amount required to be secured by a building bond; and
  • an increased maximum penalty for a developer for failing to lodge a building bond from 200 penalty units ($22,000) to 10,000 penalty units ($1,100,000).