New South Wales minister for customer service Victor Dominello has floated the idea of an app to enable users to quickly search strata plans.
In NSW strata plans must be registered with the government’s Land Registry Services department, and contain information including the building’s age, its condition, whether pets are allowed, the name of the developer and any by-laws that apply.
“Imagine a world where you can search a strata plan from your phone, and find out all necessary details at your fingertips,” Dominello posted on LinkedIn.
“We’ve all heard of FuelCheck... but what about a StrataCheck?” he added, referring to the government’s app and online tool that displays petrol prices across the state in real time.
Strata plans are available to property owners at a cost, and are currently only available for purchase in person at Land Registry Services’ offices, or through a broker.
The app would provide “potential future owners and occupants key strata information…so potential occupants can make informed decisions about renting and purchasing” Dominello said.
Other strata related apps exist for interested parties in the state. Stratafy is a cloud based platform created by two Sydney entrepreneurs.
In response to Dominello’s post, co-founder and CEO Luis Fletia said: “This already exists now”.
The platform “has the ability for Strata Managers to give interested individuals remote access to all relevant strata plan information and have it available to them at their fingertips,” he said.
StrataAlert is an online and mobile platform which allows strata managers, property owners and occupants to get alerts and raise tickets about maintenance and incidents.
The platform is a recipient of an NSW Government Technology Grant and was named one of Westpac’s ‘Businesses of Tomorrow’ last year.
While many welcomed the suggestion on LinkedIn, others questioned whether such an app was feasible, given its complexity and the numerous laws and regulations involved. Some claimed their existing strata software providers already offered such information.
Dominello’s pitch comes after a spate of cases involving cracks and defects appearing in recently constructed buildings across the state.
Hundreds of residents of Mascot Towers in Sydney had to find alternative accommodation last month after cracks were found in the building's car park.
Earlier this month it was reported an inner Sydney apartment block remained empty eight months after it was evacuated due to water and fire safety defects.
Hundreds of people were forced to leave their homes in Opal Tower in Sydney Olympic Park on Christmas Eve after cracks appeared in its walls.
Last month, NSW minister for better regulation Kevin Anderson said there was no “great cause for alarm” about the building quality in the state.
While no launch date for the app was given, Dominello suggested the government would be talking to relevant stakeholders “to see what can be done”.