Dealing with Noise: Customising By-laws in the Strata

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Noise is an inevitable part of everyone’s life. It is a nuisance that everyone faces throughout their day and is found everywhere – in the traffic on the way to work, and even in the daily grind at the office. But when everyone ends their day and heads back to their apartments, everyone longs for and expects peace and quiet in the solace of their home.

In a strata though, where there are multiple owners living in one property, sometimes noise can still be (and often is) a part of a dwellers’ residential life.

Closeup of frustrated young woman holding her ears

In fact, this is one of the most common issues that residents squabble over in a strata.

Controlling Noise

Studies suggest that the most common causes of noise in a strata are: pets, flooring and building work.

To make strata living comfortable and nuisance-free, it’s important to control the noise produced by these three factors. An owners’ corporation and their body corporate manager can successfully do so with the help of by-laws and guidelines.

Customising By-laws

NSW has model By-Laws set out in the NSW Strata Schemes Management Regulations and Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 that form the general guidelines for managing Strata Schemes in NSW. Sydney strata companies round NSW can use these set of By-laws to manage their noise problems. They also have another option: they can customise their By-Laws to suit their specific strata requirements and needs.

If your strata wishes to do the latter, here are the steps that should be followed by the owners corporation and strata manager:

  1. Draft the by-laws you wish to add and certain details you wish to include. For example, you can specify the date and time when building work is allowed at the property and when it is not allowed. You can be as detailed as needed to accurately establish rules that address the specific issues experienced in the strata.

Include the discussion of the customised or amended By-laws in the next strata meeting. Every item on the by-laws should be thoroughly discussed to ensure all strata owners fully understand the new set of rules. A Majority of the owners (at least 75%) must then agree and vote in favour of the new set of by-laws at an Extraordinary General Meeting or Annual General Meeting These by-laws must then be registered with the Land and Property Information of NSW within 2 years of the date of the meeting so it will become a legitimate regulation that all members of the strata must conform with and can be fined or penalised for in the event of non-compliance.

Effective titles strata management coupled with the right by-laws is essential in creating a harmonious strata community. Through these, each owner can hopefully have a noise-free, comfortable and peaceful residence they can come home to.

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If you would like any of this information explained in further detail or are looking for personal advice, please feel free to email our strata specialist Taylah who will be happy to answer your questions.

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