Changes to the calculation of service by post

Schedule 1.18 of the Justice Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) 2018 (NSW) amends section 76 (1) (b) of the Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW). The changes extend the time it takes to effect service by post for notices and documents from four to seven working days after the day of postage.

This legislative change was assented to on 28 November and has immediate impacts on the time required to serve notices and documents under strata and community title legislation, such as Notices of Meetings and Notices of Action as to proposed levy recovery proceedings.

The change will add significantly to the lead time for the calling of all meetings given that the extended period of seven days both necessitates that some weekend days will be caught, as well as increasing the occurrences of one or more public holidays falling within the service by post period.

It’s also important to remember that the day of the meeting must be excluded from the calculation of service by post under section 36 of the Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW).

Our friends at Chambers Russell Lawyers demonstrate the significant impact of the change in the below example which shows that if a notice of a general meeting (apart from a First Annual General Meeting) of an owners corporation under the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 was posted on Monday 24 December 2018, the earliest that the meeting could be held would be Tuesday 15 January 2019 – 23 days:

DayDateWeekdayService calculationEvent
124/12/2018MondayPostage date not includedNotice posted
225/12/2018Tuesday(Public holiday) 
326/12/2018Wednesday(Public holiday) 
427/12/2018ThursdayFirst working day 
528/12/2018FridaySecond working day 
831/12/2018MondayThird working day 
91/01/2019Tuesday(Public holiday) 
102/01/2019WednesdayFourth working day 
113/01/2019ThursdayFifth working day 
124/01/2019FridaySixth working day 
157/01/2019MondaySeventh working dayNotice effective
168/01/2019TuesdayFirst notice day 
179/01/2019WednesdaySecond notice day 
1810/01/2019ThursdayThird notice day 
1911/01/2019FridayFourth notice day 
2012/01/2019SaturdayFifth notice day 
2113/01/2019SundaySixth notice day 
2214/01/2019MondaySeventh notice day 
2315/01/2019Tuesday Date of meeting


This change to the calculation of service by post will also impact on the service of documents such as payment schedules or payment claims under the Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 1999, as well as other NSW laws that may impact your clients.