Strata trial to cut red tape and improve mixed-use development

The ACT Government will establish a strata regulation pilot program to support better mixed-use development in Canberra as we grow into a vibrant, activated city.

Mixed-use developments, like New Acton, Braddon and the Kingston Foreshore, create active urban communities where people can live, work and socialize in the one area.

These developments, with commercial and residential uses in the same building or area, are critical for keeping Canberra’s sprawl low and increasing housing choices across our city.

Why do we need reform

The ACT current has no fit-for-purpose legislative strata options that easily and fairly look after the needs of the different types of leaseholders and users - residents, businesses, owners, visitors, customers - who make up mixed-use developments.

Mixed-use developments are currently administered under a number of complex Acts covering unit titling, unit management and community title schemes. This leads to complicated legal structures and unnecessary, potentially costly, infrastructure design.

Current legislation does not adequately cover larger, precinct-type, developments undertaken in stages over time. This forces development outcomes that are not optimal for the community or the developer.

The complexity of current arrangements can lead to complaints from new owners, and a lack of transparency about the relationship between developers and strata management firms.

Industry and the community has been calling for reform of title arrangements and the government is listening.

Reform of strata regulations will:

  • make mixed-use developments easier to do, with more flexible ways to structure title, management and governance. This will help more innovative development and ensure the ACT remains competitive with other jurisdictions;
  • make mixed-use developments better administered, and fairer, in terms of shared facilities and services; and
  • give greater certainty to buyers about what they are buying into, reducing conflict between the different owners and users of mixed-use developments.

What happens next?

The ACT Government will engage with stakeholders to shape a strata title trial for mixed use development. This trial will run in parallel with existing arrangements, and make sure any changes work in practice before they are more widely put in place.

Reforming strata is complex, and the government consult extensively to make sure the trial best address the concerns of all.