HONG KONG UPDATE: THE IMPACT OF THE NEW NATIONAL SECURITY LAW UPON HONG KONG BUSINESSES, INVESTORS AND FUTURE AUSTRALIAN VISA APPLICANTS

In a response to Hong Kong’s new National Security Law, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suspended the country’s extradition agreement, extended visas for the estimated 10,000 Hong Kong people residing in Australia and announced that Australia is “looking to recruit” Hong Kong businesses. The new security law effectively gives Beijing the power to shape the lives of both individuals and businesses in Hong Kong. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said in a Press Conference on 9 July 2020 that there will be “new incentives and arrangements to attract export-orientated Hong Kong-based businesses to relocate to Australia, particularly where they have a strong potential for future growth and employment of Australians”, and that “through our global talent program… if there are businesses that wish to relocate to Australia, creating jobs, bringing investment, creating opportunities for Australia, then we will be very proactive in seeking to encourage that.” A 5 year temporary skilled visa with a pathway to permanent residency for future Hong Kong applicants will also be provided, subject to meeting an updated skills list and appropriate labour…

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GOOD THINGS COME IN THREES – PROMOTIONS ANNOUNCEMENT

At Madison Marcus, we love to celebrate employees who embody our values of passion, integrity, progress and teamwork. With that in mind, we’re thrilled to congratulate three of our team on their recent promotions. In Commercial Litigation, John de la Hoyde has been promoted to Partner and Nicholas Hallasso to Senior Associate, while Anna Minassian has been appointed Associate in our Strata Team.  Group Managing Director of Madison Marcus, Bechara Shamieh, had this to say about the highly valued team members: “It is always a privilege to watch staff grow and develop. John, Nicholas and Anna have all made wonderful contributions to the firm during their time here. They live and breathe our values and these promotions are much deserved recognition of all their hard work.” The promotion was a great honour for John de la Hoyde, who has excelled in areas of commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Understandably, he was delighted with the news and said: “This is a big milestone for me in my legal career. I am really excited to be part of the leadership…

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STRATA UPDATE: ANOTHER WIN FOR OWNERS CORPORATIONS AGAINST AIRBNB

Further to our recent article about our team’s big NCAT victory in having an owner fined for Airbnb letting and winning a costs order (click here to view), a recent change in laws will have an even bigger impact on stopping short term letting. In the Estens decision from 2017, the Tribunal invalidated a short-term letting by-law, for breaching s139(2) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA), which says a by-law cannot prohibit or restrict the leasing of a lot.   Many were critical of aspects of that decision, and it did not set a precedent other NCAT Members had to follow.  However, that is all a moot point now.  Owners corporations can decide if they want to be a building that allows Airbnb.   Can a valid by-law ban short-term letting? This answer was not previously clear, but is now emphatically yes.  Section 137A of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, passed in August 2018 by both houses of NSW Parliament, is at last now in effect. Section 137A says a by-law may prohibit a lot…

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Strata E Alert: Finally, a win for Owners Corporations against Airbnb Owner

What can Owners Corporations do about Airbnb and short-term letting?  The Madison Marcus Strata team recently had a big win in NCAT against an owner who was conducting Airbnb contrary to by-laws. The offending owner was fined the maximum amount ($1,100), and had a costs order made against him.  The costs order was of far greater value than the penalty handed down.  This means owners corporations can obtain worthwhile orders, meaning breach of by-law proceedings are worth pursuing.  In the widely reported Estens decision from 2017, the Tribunal invalidated a short-term letting by-law, for breaching s139(2) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA), which says a by-law cannot prohibit or restrict the leasing of a lot.   In the Estens decision, the actual by-law was not produced.  Despite the win in our case, that issue from Estens remains.   The key questions for owners corporation are: Given the Estens decision, is there a way to draft a valid by-law to restrict short-term letting? What is the best strategy for an owners corporation to deal with short-term letting?…

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