If you’re considering taking out a mortgage to buy an apartment in New South Wales, you might want to hold off, as laws surrounding the state’s strata agreements face the possibility of a major overhaul.

NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello this week introduced the Strata Scheme Management Bill and Strata Scheme Development Bill to parliament and the two bills contain more than 90 changes to how strata schemes are currently legislated.  

Key changes in the introduced legislation include the provision that developers will have to lodge a bond of 2% of the contracted price of the building to cover defects, only requiring 75% of owners to agree before an apartment building can be sold and giving management committees greater leeway in how they deal with issues such as parking and pets.

Dominello said the amended legislation will help the state deal with the increasing number of people living in buildings covered by strata agreements.

“The over-riding objective is to modernise our strata laws to better reflect the way people live and work in 2015 and beyond,” Dominello said.

“The last major amendments to strata law happened 20 years ago – the face of our state and major cities has changed dramatically since then,” he said.

“By 2040, half of all Sydneysiders will be living or working in strata. It is important that our laws reflect current needs and cater for future demands.”

Real Estate Institute of New South Wales president of Malcolm Gunning said the amended laws were important for people looking to buy property in the state.

With apartment living considered almost as attractive as freestanding homes it is important to simplify strata laws to make them easier to understand, while at the same time recognise our existing and future requirements,” Gunning said.

“After considerable consultation from industry, the public and interest groups we are very pleased to see that these matters will be addressed. With some two million people living or working in more than 75,000 strata schemes across NSW these reforms are of the utmost importance,” he said.