Strata owners and tenants will be able to choose gas and electricity suppliers as part of the shake up of consumer laws in NSW

Home owners and tenants living in strata schemes will no longer be locked into uncompetitive long term contracts for gas and electricity under the NSW Government’s Better Business Reforms.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said some strata schemes are currently bound to long-term utility contracts through up-front agreements made by developers.

“These contracts are unfair for hard-working home owners and renters,” Mr Kean said.

“People living in strata schemes should be able to choose their own utility providers – it’s common sense.

“My Better Business Reforms are putting the power back into the hands of consumers so they can end old, overpriced and uncompetitive utility contracts.”

Under the reforms, automatic contract roll-ons will be stopped and future owners corporations won’t be able to be locked into long-term contracts.

This reform will ensure home owners and tenants living in more than 78,000 strata lots across NSW will be able to find the best deal for their budget and circumstances, or change providers if they are dissatisfied with a service.

It will also be a requirement to raise the issue as a compulsory standing item at owners corporation annual general meetings.

“These long-term utility contracts might sound like a good deal at the time. But 20 years down the track, they’re often uncompetitive and overpriced,” Mr Kean said.

“It’s time to flick the switch on these restrictive deals. My Better Business Reforms are a win-win: empowering consumers and helping small businesses that put consumers first.”

The reforms are part of the biggest shake up of consumer laws in NSW in more than three decades.

Minister Kean is introducing the Better Business Reforms, which also include changes to cut red tape and help small businesses compete, into Parliament this month.

© State of New South Wales through Department of Finance, Services and Innovation 2014.

Leave a Reply