Common Property Rights By-Law: The Scope of Works and Level of Details Required

The basic definition of “common property” is, all the areas of the land and building not included in any lot. To be precise, the common property boundaries of each lot are essentially formed by the upper surface of the floor, under surface of the ceiling and inner surface of the external or boundary walls including doors and windows. Items including pipes and electrical wiring that service multiple lots, and magnesite finish on the floor are…

Do I still need Consent from the Owners Corporation if I already have Council Approval?

In a strata scheme building, the owners corporation is the legal owner of the common property. When lot owners propose to carry out works that require statutory approval (such as development consent/complying development certificate), it is highly likely that they will also require consent from the owners corporation if those works impact on common property. In a recent case of the Owners Strata Plan 70989 v Afghan Community Support Association of NSW Inc, the respondent…

Sustainability Infrastructure Amendment – General

The recent introduction of the Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Sustainability Infrastructure) Act 2020 which amends the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (the “Act”) is good news for owners corporations wishing to put in place greener facilities for residents. This amendment will smooth the path for approval of works such as solar panels and electric car chargers in strata, and guides owners corporations through the key factors to consider prior to approving such works. Here we…

Has Written Consent been given for that Exclusive Use By-Law?

An owners corporation may amend, repeal or add by-laws in accordance with the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (the Act). Commonly, lot owners seek to make common property rights by-law to gain rights to exclusively use certain parts of the common property for purposes including car parking, storage and to carry out renovation works. Accordingly, it is important that lot owners and owners corporation are aware of the requirements for written consent when making or…

Certificate of Titles: A thing of the past

The way in which we deal with certificates of title (CTs) have and are continuing to change. Why is 22 March 2021 important? On 22 March 2021, it was made compulsory to lodge consolidated by-laws for registering through Property Exchange Australia (PEXA). However, the caveat to this is that if no legal representation, counter lodgments by waiver form was permitted but only applicable for 12 months up until 22 March 2022. If you are legally…

Can I use that document too? – NOT WITHOUT COPYRIGHT

One great way to incur a large debt is to reuse a commercial document without the consent of the copyright owner. We see this regularly and it rarely ends well. In a strata context, the most common scenario involves a professional being engaged to prepare a document for an owners corporation or lot owner and those persons or others reusing the document for a similar transaction in the future, without the consent of the professional….

The What’s and Why’s of VOI’s

There appears to a great deal of confusion regarding the verification of identity (VOI) process and in this factsheet we aim to clarify what VOI is all about. Why do I need to undertake a VOI? The Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council’s Model Participation Rules (Rules) set out strict criteria which law firms must comply with. As part of these obligations, law firms are required to verify the identity of any party that signs…

What do I own and what is common property?

What is Lot and Common Property? The important question of who owns what needs to be established, as the answer will dictate how a strata scheme is correctly managed and who is responsible for what parts of a strata scheme. Common property is the responsibility of the owners’ corporation, and Lot property is the responsibility of the lot owner. The picture below is an extract from a typical strata plan. The strata plan does not…

Renovations By-Laws – How Much Detail is Needed?

Determining the level of detail to include in a renovations by-law can be a daunting experience. The following must be included: Adequately describe the works and the common property area  For the motion and by-law to be valid it must provide specific details of the works to be undertaken and specify the area of common property. This may be achieved by the inclusion of detailed scope of works, quotes, specifications and plans. The level of…

Sustainable infrastructure: Is your Strata Scheme Ready for Electric Cars?

Electric cars are sparking the interest of strata residents, many of whom are keen to find a way to charge electric vehicles within their scheme. With a variety of residential electric car chargers now accessible to the market, lot owners and owners corporations are considering how to streamline approval processes, manage energy consumption, and future-proof car parking spaces. The latest proposed amendments to the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (the “Act”) regarding sustainable infrastructure encourages…