Are There NSW Strata Rules About Renovations & Repairs During COVID-19?

23 November 2020

We’ve all started to settle into a new ‘norm’ where COVID-19 can affect many activities and plans. So if you’re in the midst of that big kitchen renovation or need something fixed – should you still go ahead?

Let’s take a closer look at the official advice around strata and COVID-19 in NSW, and what to consider if carrying out renovations and repairs during this time to avoid issues.

The big question is: is it essential? 

First let’s consider strata maintenance. Strata schemes are absolutely allowed to approve essential repairs, maintenance and inspections, but they must also consider the welfare of residents where contractors or tradespeople would be entering the site. 

For essential repairs, maintenance and fire inspections 

Where the work is deemed essential then there are some important guidelines to follow:

  • Residents should be informed of the day, time or timeframe in which the work will be carried out.  
  • Residents must maintain a minimum 1.5 metre distance from workers.  
  • Schemes need to ensure that contractors or tradespeople follow hygiene practices.  
  • Interaction should be conducted outside where possible.

For non-essential repairs, maintenance and renovations: 

This one can feel like a delicate balance. There are many people at home looking to jump into home renovation projects, but also more neighbours at home more often who can be disturbed by noise. 

The official advice from Fair Trading NSW outlines that any non-urgent repairs, maintenance or renovations should be delayed where possible.

What if I’m in the middle of my renovations? 

Fair Trading NSW outlines that if you have started renovations, you will need to limit noise and disturbances to other residents as much as possible. Power tools and loud equipment must not be used between these times:

8pm – 8am on Sundays and public holidays 
8pm – 7am on weekdays and Saturdays.

Any contractors or tradespeople will also need to follow hygiene practices

Your strata scheme might also have unique by-laws or COVID-19 measures that might limit when people can enter the property for the purposes of renovations, so be sure to ask your strata manager or check your strata roll to be certain. If disputes arise about renovations and you can’t talk out the issue, then you can apply for mediation with Fair Trading.

The strata rules around COVID-19 are likely to change over time. At Jamesons we aim to provide up-to-date information on our COVID-19 page, as well as through our strata management services. And as always, if you feel your strata manager isn’t providing the service you’re looking for – it’s easy to make the change.