After a few years, or even a few months, some homeowners want to have their spaces renovated. New layout, design, décor and furniture – anything and everything that will give the space a new look. This is easy for single home dwellers. But how about for strata owners?
If you’re an owner of a strata in Sydney or anywhere in Australia and are thinking about renovating a unit, here are some factors you need to consider before doing so.
Property Boundary/Common Property
Its important to know exactly where the common property starts and your private space commences. Remember that you own the ‘air space’ within the lot but anything behind the paint is common property and you may need owners corporation approval to make any changes.
Under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996, owners are prevented from making any changes or alterations to their unit that affect the common property without the prior written consent from the Owners Corporation. Approval/consent can be given by the owners’ corporation under Section 52 or 65A Strata Management Act if a by-law is prepared.
Assuming a By-Law is required for your renovations (often they are not), after the by-law is prepared, it will need to be passed by a special resolution during a general meeting of the body corporate management/owners’ corporation. It then would need to be registered on the certificate of title. This is important as the by-law is not effective until this is done.
If there is no By-Law required you will still require the consent of the Owners Corporation as they may have specific rules in place or possibly even an existing By-Law. Lots of strata schemes have deposit bonds that are required to be paid before commencement to protect the Owners Corporation/body corporate in the event that any damage occurs to the common property.
Aside from getting the consent of your community, you may also need local council approval for renovations. This is especially true if your project would require a development application. Take note that the council will need the written consent from your owners’ corporation before they can evaluate and process your request for the council consent. Not all areas though require a council consent, so it will be good to check with your local council to be sure.
As an owner of a strata unit, you too can have your home renovated. Just make sure you take note of the important things listed above to make your home renovation a successful and hassle-free project.
Its also important to consider your neighbours all around you – good communication during renovations can make your strata management renovation project a much more pleasant experience for everyone involved.