Owners living in a strata community, body corporate or owners’ corporation sometimes want to renovate their apartments. But it’s difficult to know your rights and obligations. Do I need permission from my neighbours to renovate? What if I don’t get permission?
It’s not really that scary, more common-sense so dream big with your renovations but follow the rules.
This article by Bannermans Lawyers is very helpful for navigating the difference between hammering a nail in a wall to enclosing a balcony.
While this article is about renovating units in NSW only there are some helpful tips which apply in other states. For those in other states use this table as a guide to find out the requirements in your state. If you’re not sure where to get help in your state, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s some highlights from the Bannermans article on renovating units.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.Why bother with a motion and by-law?
From the owners corporation’s perspective:
- A by-law can create a clear and transferable right and obligation.
- A by-law can allocate maintenance obligations in relation to the owner and subsequent owners of the relevant lot.
From the lot owner’s perspective:
- The owners corporation can require removal of works and reinstatement of the common property if works have not been approved.
- An owner may not have a right of exclusive use of the works without a by-law.
- Registration of a by-law will make the lot more attractive to a buyer, removing a legal concern.
2. How do I get approvals and by-laws?
The lot owner should provide the owners corporation with the following for approval:
- Details of the proposed works, which may include plans and specifications and a report from an appropriate expert consultant, particularly if structural works are proposed.
- Draft motions, approvals and by-laws.
The owners corporation will consider those, possibly ask for more information and convene a meeting for the purpose of considering and possibly passing motions effecting those approvals and by-laws.
3. What do I do if the work has already been carried out?
A by-law conferring a right of exclusive use or a special privilege in respect of the relevant works can be made after the works have been carried out. Strictly speaking, approval of alterations/additions to common property under section 65A of the Act cannot be given retrospectively, but there are various options available depending on the specific circumstances and details should be provided to the owners corporation, so that appropriate action can be taken.