Under the heading “ New strata rule to force sales in $75m complex” the Australian Financial Review (24/4/2017) records that a developer over a period of 18 months has negotiated sale agreements with 40 of 48 owners of a strata property that lies adjacent to Macquarie University in Sydney. It is reported that the developer will now negotiate to buy the remaining units under the recently introduced, so called, 75% renewal rule. It is understood the developer will construct student accomodation on this site.
Possibility the way the 75% renewal rule will typically work in practice is that developers, as in the above case, will buy sufficient lots to give them the voting power to force through their redevelopment scheme. The article seems to infer that the sellers in this instance have done very well, but what of the fate of the remaining 8 owners. The strata world throws up these problems where some lot owners assume their home is their castle, but not so in the strata world. We trust it all ends up well for these owners, but it is a most vexed issue. The elderly in particular in their twilight years don’t want this type of change, their community destroyed, or the money. Of course developers will be focussing on “irreplaceable sites” and for some all the money in the world cannot compensate for many years of memories and the lifestyle inherent in their home and location.
There have been murmurings about introducing the 75% rule in Queensland; but guess where these are coming from, property developers. Owners continue to be the patsy in this game of opaque vested interests; one day the legislators will work out that just as the general voter is getting fed-up with the conduct of our politicians and other elites, the strata lot owner is getting miffed on multiple fronts, and as every day goes buy there are more and more strata lot owners who are also voters!
by Gary Wilson, Executive Committee member