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The government will be amending the Registration (Strata Titles) Act to address concerns associated with apartment complexes.
Minister of Land and Environment, Dean Peart, who made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday, said the amendments would deal with issues such as regulation, monitoring and supervision of the strata corporations, dispute resolution as well as the collection of maintenance contributions from owners.
Mr. Peart explained that the plans to amend the Act had been in the making for several years and expressed his pleasure that the changes would be completed for Cabinet’s approval by the end of July 2005.
The Land and Environment Minister however sounded a word of advice for the owners and occupiers of strata properties. “I must emphasize that owners and occupiers must display the necessary discipline, commitment and behavourial changes required to ensure the smooth management of these properties, such as payment of maintenance fees”, he said.
In addition to the amendments to the Strata Titles Act, the Ministry is also preparing a new legislation for other residential complexes with common areas such as townhouses and gated communities.
Minister Peart also informed, that the Ministry would be more stringent in ensuring that adequate open/recreational spaces were provided by developers in residential schemes, in keeping with the requirements of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).
“I strongly believe that a physical environment with good recreational spaces in which our children can play and interact is imperative in creating a kinder and gentler society,” he stressed.
Concurrent with this legislation, the Ministry is working with NEPA to prepare a National Open Space and Green Areas Policy, which will include recommendations and the definition of roles for the maintenance and management of these spaces.
Also being worked on is a Developer’s Manual, to guide developers, investors, and the general public on the standards, procedures, regulations for undertaking various types of development in Jamaica. The preparation of this manual is in keeping with the Ministry’s role to facilitate the process of development in an efficient manner.
“I am please to announce that the revised manual is now in an advanced state of preparation”, Minister Peart told the House, noting that the various stakeholders were revising the main sections of the document and it was expected that the manual would be ready for publication by the end of July.
He also thanked the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Regulations and Legislation Project for their financial assistance towards the completion of the manual.