Step 1 Draft the By-Law
Using DIY By-Laws you can easily add your lot details, select what areas you are renovating and attach the relevant plans to create a by-law and motion instantly! Your by-law will describe any impact there may be to common property (for example, waterproofing in bathroom, moving plumbing or external walls).
Step 4 The General Meeting
Your motion will be discussed at the AGM and details will be reviewed. Then a vote will be taken by all owners attending (and via proxy) the AGM on your motion. This will be specially resolved and you will get approval or could be asked to provide changes or more detail. A majority vote will get this approved.
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 outline what kinds of works will be considered sustainability infrastructure under the Act, how sustainability infrastructure initiatives may be approved by an owners corporation, and the considerations that owners corporations will have to take into account before voting on sustainability infrastructure at a general meeting.
What is sustainability infrastructure?
The new amendment to the Act defines “sustainability infrastructure” as a change to common property that involves any one or more of several classes of sustainability measures. A “change” could include the installation, removal, modification or replacement of any part of common property.
Whether or not a change to common property will be considered “sustainability infrastructure” will depend on the intended purpose of the proposed change. The purpose of sustainability infrastructure may include any one or more of the following:
Sustainability infrastructure approvals
Previously, approval of a change to common property required a special resolution and registration of a section 108 and 143 by-law. The new amendment to the Act provides that approval of a change to common property may also be in the form of a “sustainability infrastructure resolution”. This is a new resolution that requires a simple majority (50% or more) of persons who are present and eligible to vote at the general meeting at which the motion is considered.
However, a sustainability infrastructure resolution may be broader than a common property rights by-law. A sustainability infrastructure resolution may also be in relation to financing sustainability infrastructure, or to change the by-laws of the strata scheme for the purpose of the installation or use of sustainability infrastructure.
Considerations prior to approval
Before a sustainability infrastructure resolution is approved, the Act requires that the owners corporation must consider four factors.
In addition to the amendments to the Act in relation to sustainability infrastructure, the Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Sustainability Infrastructure) Act 2020 has made various amendments to the Act, most of which have commenced and one which is yet to commence.
Of those changes which have commenced are changes which provide clarifications regarding inspections of records, information to be provided to tenants, meeting procedures, proxies and adjourned meetings.
An application for a section 247A order may be made by the applicant for the original order, the owners corporation, lot owner, or any other person with an interest in a lot in the strata scheme to which the original order relates. Where the order arises out of a mediation, any party to the mediation may apply for a section 247A order.
Notably, a new provision which commenced on 24 August 2021 has been included regarding the keeping of animals in strata schemes. The new section 137B provides that a by-law will have no force or effect to the extent that the by-law purports to unreasonably prohibit the keeping of an animal on a lot. This means that owners corporations may prohibit a lot owner from keeping a pet in their lot, so long as the owners corporation has reasonable reasons for doing so.
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ABOUT US: DIY By-Laws is a division of leading strata law firm, Bannermans Lawyers. We are an innovative law firm, constantly striving to develop and create solutions for our clients and our industry and this platform is part of our vision to deliver digital legal services to the Australian property and strata industries.