Property and development
The Cayman Islands Law Reform Commission has pushed back the deadline again, this time to the end of May, for members of the public to submit comments on proposed comprehensive strata titles reform.
The period of consultation was originally supposed to end 11 March, but the commission extended the deadline to 12 April at the urging of the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association.
On 11 April, the commission sent out a news release stating that the period of consultation will now close 31 May, “pursuant to a request by the Caymanian Bar Association and the Cayman Islands Law Society”.
The period of consultation now runs through and beyond the 22 May election.
Beginning in January 2009, the commission has been working to review and update the Strata Title Registration Law (2005 Revision). The original strata legislation was enacted in 1973 and is based on Australian statute from the 1950s.
The commission’s discussion paper and first draft bill were made public in April 2011. However, the first bill was never officially brought before the Legislative Assembly for consideration. The commission has put together a second bill that incorporates the provisions in the first bill and also covers all other areas of strata regulation.
In March, the real estate brokers association lauded the proposed revisions, by and large, but criticised legislators’ decision in August to pass an amendment to the law wholly apart from the comprehensive review process.
The association highlighted the change to the law that allows stratas to demolish and redevelop Seven Mile Beach condos with a 75 per cent supermajority vote – rather than a unanimous vote as was formerly required.
The association described the change as “a direct and retroactive attack on individual property rights”.
However, attorney Daniel Priestley, the director of law firm Priestleys Ltd., whose areas of specialisation include strata law and practice, gave a different take on the strata amendment law, which took effect in October 2012.
During the Cayman Islands Property and Construction Conference hosted 28 February by the Cayman chapter of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Mr. Priestley said certain portions of the comprehensive reform bill were “stripped out” and enacted under the strata amendment law.
“What probably informed the decision to do that was to address those concerns, which were felt to be completely pressing and have to be addressed, given the state of play,” he said.
Comments on the comprehensive strata titles reform bill and discussion paper can be submitted in writing to the commission at First Floor, dms House, Genesis Close, or sent by e-mail to [email protected]