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…

Sustainability Infrastructure Amendment

The Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Sustainability Infrastructure) Act 2020 which is anticipated to commence in late July 2020, will amend the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (the “Act”) and 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…

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…

Growing Community: Edible Gardens in Strata

With social distancing measures in place, many people have turned their hand to growing their own food as a way to beat the boredom and connect with nature while sheltering at home. From herb gardens to permaculture plots, gardening in strata can offer a range of opportunities to improve the liveability of urban spaces. With owners and occupiers getting their hands dirty, it is timely for owners corporations to consider how their scheme’s by-laws and…

Isolation Renovations: Strata Approvals for Home Improvements

The prospect of continuing to work from home following COVID-19 has inspired many to reconsider the design and functionality of their living spaces. If the spike in purchases of home office equipment and DIY supplies are any indication, Australians have been using their lockdown time to get some work done around the house. Whether you are planning a home office refresh, an update to your kitchen or changes to your courtyard, understanding when you need…

No By-Law? No Sale? Digging yourself a Hole with an Unauthorised Renovation

The Owners – Strata Plan No 9319 v Lovell [2020] NSWCATCD Background Bannermans received instructions from an owners corporation that had recently discovered extensive unauthorised works to the common property, undertaken by a lot owner some years earlier. The owner undertook extensive excavation works underneath the lot to create a subterranean area complete with speakers and a video projector. These works were then concealed by a motorised trap door near the entry way. The owners…

Flooring Disputes and Renovations

Unauthorised installation of hard-surface flooring in apartment units can result in disquiet between lot owners and owners corporations. Lot owners thinking about replacing carpeted flooring with timber, vinyl or hybrid floor coverings should carefully review their strata scheme’s by-laws, consider the impact that the proposed flooring may have on noise travelling to neighbouring lots, and follow the correct approval process to ensure that their new flooring only needs to be installed once. The Tribunal decision…

Why do I Need Approval to Renovate?

What do I own and what is Common Property? One of the main questions we get from strata owners is, why do I need approval to renovate? Having a clear understanding of your strata plan, lot and common property can explain what you own and what you share. It is important for lot owners to establish these answers to ensure the strata scheme is correctly managed and who is responsible for what. Owners wanting to…

Do you need Council approval for your renovations?

If you are renovating your strata unit, you may require approval from your local council. Whether you will require council approval or not will depend on: the kind of renovations you plan on doing; and the requirements of the local council in your area. Approval requirements will vary from council to council. It is always a good idea to check what approvals you will need for each renovation project. What will happen if I don’t…