What Happens if Someone Breaches Strata Rules?

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If you’re living in a strata property or are planning to, you’ll likely be aware that there are strata by-laws in place that shape the way of life within a strata scheme. These by-laws can relate to resident and guest behaviour, use of common property and aspects such as parking and short-term letting. But what happens when strata rules are breached, either by another strata owner or perhaps someone visiting the property?

Firstly, it’s important to know the strata rules

Your strata scheme’s unique by-laws are outlined by your strata roll, and as an owner or resident you should be provided with a copy of these. If you haven’t, they’ll be available from your strata scheme’s secretary or from your strata manager. These by-laws, together with the NSW Strata Act 2015 and the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016, will outline the guidelines that apply for your strata scheme. Our document bank provides some handy links to these and other resources.

If one of these by-laws or strata laws is being breached, then the following steps are generally followed.

From friendly to formal: the process of escalation

  • Having a conversation
    In the vast majority of cases other than urgent situations, the first port of call is to speak with the person who’s breaching the rules. Whether it’s a rule about airing laundry on the balcony or a barking dog, there’s a possibility that the person is not aware of the by-laws and in many cases a friendly and frank discussion will help clear up the issue.
  • Speaking with the strata manager
    If the friendly chat route doesn’t work, then a complaint can be made to the strata manager (or property manager if you’re renting). Your strata manager is here to help, and we can clearly explain the by-laws and possible implications of a breach as an unbiased third party.
  • Issuing a Notice to Comply
    Is the by-law or strata management regulation still being breached? The typical next step is that the complaint may be taken to the strata committee, which can vote to issue a Notice to Comply with a rule or by-law. If the person breaching the rules is an owner within the strata scheme this will be addressed to them directly, otherwise as a tenant their landlord and property manager will also be provided with this Notice.
  • Escalating to NCAT
    If the behaviour still doesn’t change at this point, then the owners corporation can escalate the issue to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). Depending on the matter, NCAT might recommend mediation or issue orders to settle the dispute. NCAT can also choose to issue financial penalties depending on the circumstances.

Our strata by-laws, Strata Management Act and the Strata Scheme Management Regulation are all there to help strata residents enjoy a peaceful and enjoyable living environment. If you’d like to know more about how our strata managers can help and the services we provide in NSW, simply get in touch today.

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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 Philip who will be happy to answer your questions.

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