What are by-laws in a strata plan?
By-laws are a set of registered rules that governs a strata plan.
By-laws contain rules on the expected behaviour of owners and their occupants, noise, vehicles, obstruction of common property, damage to lawns and plants on common property, depositing rubbish, cleaning of windows and doors, floor coverings, keeping of animals and the appearance of a lot.
Are lot owners expected to comply with the by-laws?
The rules contained within by-laws are binding and are registered on the common property title of the strata plan. All lot owners and other occupiers are expected to comply with the by-laws.
If a lot owner does not comply with the by-laws in a strata plan, the Owners Corporation have a legal right to enforce those by-laws against a lot owner. As a measure of last resort, the Owners Corporation may commence legal proceedings in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to enforce the by-laws.
By-laws and renovations
Generally speaking, most renovations to a lot require a by-law to be approved by the Owners Corporation.
Under the Strata Schemes Management Act 2001 (Cth) (the Act) there is a clear definition of ‘minor renovations’ and ‘major renovations’. Minor renovations are generally classified as most renovations that do not involve waterproofing or require development consent from the local authority. The Act provides that the installation of hard floors, installation or replacement of wiring or cabling and/or installation or replacement of pipes and ducts are defined as ‘minor renovations’.
For a minor renovation to take effect, a lot owner is required to submit a proposed ordinary resolution to be passed by the Owners Corporation which sets out the details of the renovation work.
A major renovation is defined as any renovation that does not fall within the definition of ‘minor renovations’ identified in the Act. Generally speaking, any renovations that involve waterproofing wet areas, replacing external windows or doors, extending the roof space, replacing a ceiling, enclosing balconies or car spaces, or any renovation that requires the development consent of the local authority is generally classified as a major renovation.
The Owners Corporation are required to approve the major renovation (through the passing of a special-by-law) by way of a special resolution at a General Meeting. That special by-law is then registered on the common property title for the strata plan.
If you require minor or major renovations to your lot in a strata plan, please contact us on 02 9331 0266. We can provide you with a strata by-law for the renovations and advice on whether a by-law is required or not.