Thoughts and sympathies to the people affected by the devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon

On 4 August 2020, the world was shocked by the horrific explosion in Beirut, Lebanon which has killed at least 135 people and injured more than 5000 others. The stories of survivors and their experiences in the wake of the explosion are particularly harrowing. Many people from all over the world are still grappling with the events that have unfolded and are desperate to understand how such a catastrophic blast could occur. Still, the consequences of the explosion have not yet been fully realised, as emergency workers and responders continue to search for survivors and tend to the injured. In Australia, our Lebanese community and their extended family and friends have been deeply affected by this crisis, and we as Australians are similarly distraught. Our team at Madison Marcus maintains strong relationships with these local communities, and we wish to extend to them our sincerest thoughts and sympathies. We cannot possibly understand how distressing this has been for those who have loved ones living in Lebanon. We recognise that many people are experiencing this pain, and we want…

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How COVID-19 has impacted tenants’ and landlords’ rights: Residential Tenancies (Amendment) COVID-19 Regulation

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) COVID‑19 Regulation 2020 generally prohibits, until 14 October 2020, subject to further extension (the moratorium period), a landlord from giving a tenant who is a member of a household financially impacted by the COVID‑19 pandemic (an impacted tenant) a termination notice for non‑payment of rental charges and provides that during the moratorium period a landlord may only evict an impacted tenant for non‑payment of rent or charges if: the landlord gives a termination notice or applies for a termination order at least 60 days after the commencement of the regulation the landlord and impacted tenant had participated in good faith in a formal rent negotiation process about the rent or charges payable it is fair and reasonable in the circumstances of a case for the landlord to give the termination notice or apply for the order. The Regulation requires a landlord under a residential tenancy agreement to give at least 90 days’ notice of the termination of: a fixed term tenancy at the end of the term a periodic tenancy a tenancy because of…

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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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BREAKING NEWS: SIGNIFICANT BUILDING INDUSTRY CHANGES TO COME AS NSW PARLIAMENT RELEASES FINAL REPORT

NSW Parliament releases “Regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes” final report. The final report of the Public Accountability Committee, “Regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes” was tabled by NSW Parliament on 30 April 2020. The report and its 22 significant recommendations are being considered by the government which must provide a response within six months. The 22 recommendations from the lengthy report are as follows: Recommendation 1 That the NSW Government introduce and debate the powers bill granting the NSW Building Commissioner new powers to ensure building standards as a matter of urgency when the NSW Parliament is reconvened in May 2020, with prompt circulation of the proposed bill to members of Parliament. Recommendation 2 That the NSW Government resume debate on the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 as a matter of urgency when the NSW Parliament is reconvened in May 2020. Recommendation 3 That the NSW Government empower the NSW Building Commissioner to oversee all licencing inspections, within the newly created Building Commission. Further, that the Building Commission hire additional,…

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COVID-19 Update 3 April 2020: Commercial Tenancy Coronavirus Crisis Code of Practice coming to a contract near you next week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison this afternoon has urged commercial landlords and tenants to come to an agreement in relation to financial hardship as the Government reserves announcement regarding a mandatory Coronavirus Industry Code of Practice to be announced and imposed next week.

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