There are many reasons why you might choose to renovate your strata property.
In order for you to be compliant with strata laws and to ensure that your renovation runs smoothly, you will have to follow a few guidelines on who to inform of your upcoming works.
Which building works require permission?
Depending on the scale of your renovation plans, the steps you have to take before you can start will vary. There are three tiers of renovations, all coming with different specifications:
- Cosmetic changes, like hanging a nail or painting a wall, don’t require any approval. As soon as you have confirmed that your plans count as cosmetic changes, you can start right away.
- Minor renovations, like a kitchen refurbishing or replacing your flooring, will need approval from a majority of the members of the owners corporation present at a general meeting, or the strata committee if a proper resolution has been approved.
- Major renovations that alter the structure of your unit, like knocking down walls or changes to the balcony, will have to be approved by at least 75% of the owners corporation and will require a special by-law to be passed.
What is the first step to getting permission for building works?
The very first step after deciding you want to get your unit renovated should always be to talk to your strata manager. They will be able to advise you whether your plans count as cosmetic, minor or major, and can then give you advice on how to proceed. On top of that, they will also have knowledge of the strata scheme’s specific by-law and also of the more general legal situation in NSW concerning strata renovations, which changed with the 2015 Home Building Act. You can learn more about these changes here.
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How much notice do I need to give before the works start?
If your changes aren’t cosmetic, once the strata committee, via the strata manager have all of the necessary information to comply with their application process, you can request a motion on the agenda of the next strata committee or General meeting (depending on which one is required), which means that potential waiting times until you can start will be at least until the next strata meeting. You should allow at least 4-6 weeks for a minor renovation and 6-10 weeks for a major renovation.
Depending on your strata’s by-laws, the process of approving minor works may be delegated to the strata committee, speeding up the process. Major works, however, always need to be voted on by the owners corporation and absolutely require a 75% approval. You can read more about the approval process for renovations here.
In general, it’s best to give the owners corporation as much information on your plans as possible, in order to make sure that communication goes smoothly and that you maintain a good relationship with the surrounding strata owners throughout the process.
Are you looking for a reliable strata manager to help you navigate the ins and outs of strata? Get in touch with our experienced and friendly team today.