NSW Building Reforms

Recently, there have been two new acts introduced in NSW that will have a considerable impact on the building and construction industry. Collectively known as ‘the Reforms’, these acts are: The Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (the DBP). The Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (the RAB). The objective of the Reforms is to ensure NSW’s building industry is constructing trustworthy buildings and delivering quality projects to consumers. The Reforms seek to increase the standard of current works, ensuring all work and materials used onsite are compliant with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian standards. The purpose behind the push to change the building and construction industry is to ensure the entire team involved in the construction process is both accountable and performing at optimum standard, rather than targeting individual players. The greatest accountability rests with the Developer (principal) as the individual/entity responsible for delivery of a product to consumers. The Reforms are to protect homeowners and ensure a quality and safe product. Part of this will see the regulator attending sites…

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Retail tenants and relief against forfeiture during COVID-19

If a tenant breaches a lease for non-payment of rent, there is a fundamental breach which gives a landlord the right to terminate the lease and take possession of the premises. However, a tenant has the right to apply to the court for an order restraining the landlord from doing so, otherwise known as relief against forfeiture. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, courts had yet to redefine the criteria used to award a tenant protection from the re-entry by their landlord. The High Court has previously applied a flexible approach to the instances where relief against forfeiture has been granted. However, how such principles that grant relief against forfeiture operate alongside constantly changing COVID-19 rules and regulations has been unclear. Would the courts extend the tenant’s rights and apply the right to relief more liberally? Sneakerboy Retail Pty Ltd v Georges Properties Pty Ltd [2020] NSWSC 996, decided by Justice Robb on 31 July 2020, goes someway to providing a list of considerations that clarify this issue in the current global health crisis. Background On…

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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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