Each strata scheme needs its bylaws. The rules are set to be followed by the owners, tenants and visitors as well. The main purpose of the bylaws is to control the behaviour of the parties involved in the usage of the common property.
It can cover issues such as pets allowed on the scheme or not, smoking, parking and noise levels.
The bylaws vary from scheme to scheme depending on the requirements of rules for the project and types of projects. Owners corporations determine the bylaws which suit the strata scheme. The bylaws should not be oppressive or harsh. The bylaws are made to restrict dealings in a lot which include short-term letting; it cannot restrict the children or assistance animals.
A copy of the scheme’s bylaws is kept on strata roll which is available from the secretary of the owners corporation or the managing agent.
The bylaws which apply to a strata scheme depend on the date when the plan was registered. Sydney’s strata bylaws usually include the following:
The model bylaws provide options and tools to control whether pets are allowed and terms of having them around. The bylaws can ban pets on the property completely and only assistance animals would be allowed. The owners need to provide notice before the pet starts living with them on the property.
There should be bylaws that prevent people from using trained and certified animal even if the bylaws have banned it.
Smoking and nuisance
The owners corporation can pass a bylaw which can ban smoking on the common property and the occupier to ensure that second-hand smoke does not enter the property. They can also pass a bylaw to designate specific smoking areas within the common property.
Bylaws for common property
The common property bylaws are made if the owner of a lot requests personal use of the property for renovation or other types of use.
An owners corporation needs all owner permission in written consent to make such bylaws.
Noise and short-term letting
There are certain bylaws made which need to be followed regarding the noise and short-term letting of the property. Noise is an issue when it comes to common property.
This is another important bylaw which needs to be made in order to avoid overcrowding of the common property which can affect the tenants.
Compliance to law
The tenants, owners and occupiers are legally obliged to comply with the bylaws.
Dealing with breaches
If any of the parties involved in the bylaw breaches it, the strata committee would first contact the resident and ask to stop whatever it is.
If it still does not stop, the owners corporation serves notice to make them comply with it.
Once the notice is served, the resident needs to conduct to cease immediately. The notice needs to be given only after a majority vote in the owners meeting. The owners can also delegate their responsibility to a strata managing agent or committee for issuing notices.
Fine and penalty
If there is a breach of the bylaws and notice has been served validly, a fine of up to $1,100 can be given. If the person has been fined for the same in the past 12 months, it would get doubled. In such cases, there is no need to serve notice.
Change in bylaws
To change the bylaws, the owners corporation must decide it by special resolution at a general meeting. It requires no more than 25 per cent votes to go against it. It needs to be notified to the land registry services.
For any bylaw to be effective, it needs to be by Strata Schemes Management Act or other laws related to it.
Emma Ryan is the deputy head of editorial at Momentum Media.
Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, and has since been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia, including across the legal, mortgages, real estate and wealth industries. In addition, Emma has launched several additional sub-brands and events, driven by a passion to deliver quality and timely content to audiences through multiple platforms.
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