Renovation, Exclusive Use and Special Privilege By-Laws

Renovations to common property

These are the most common type of by-laws requested by owners. The first step we recommend for owners seeking to undertake renovations to the common property in connection with a lot is to determine the nature of the renovations - are they cosmetic works (not requiring the consent of the Owners Corporation) or minor renovations (requiring the consent of the owners corporation but not a by-law) or major renovations (requiring a by-law if the owner will be responsible for the future maintenance and upkeep of the common property affected by the works).

 

If you are wanting to undertake any of these works, you should firstly speak with the Owners Corporation, the Strata Committee, or the strata manager. They may have some conditions or guidelines in relation to the by-law you want, or there may already be a registered by-law allowing you to do or keep the renovations.

 

Proposed renovations

A by-law may be required whenever an owner proposes to do work which affects the common property (which is owned by the Owners Corporation). The nature of common property depends on a lot of factors (see our glossary for a definition). If you are unsure whether your proposed renovation will affect the common property, please contact us.

Apart from cosmetic works, an owner must be authorised by the Owners Corporation to do work which affects the common property. If the Owners Corporation proposes that an owner will be responsible for the maintenance of the common property affected by the works, a by-law must be made before any works begin.

Fixed Cost By-Laws can draft the relevant motions authorising an owner to undertake such work and for the Owners Corporation to make a by-law and all other matters right up to registration of the by-law.

 

Past renovations

Sometimes an owner (including a past owner) conducts works affecting the common property without obtaining the authorisation of the Owners Corporation or a by-law. These are unauthorised works which the Owners Corporation can request be removed and the common property restored.

​The Owners Corporation can make a by-law retrospectively approving the unauthorised works by granting an owner a special privilege to keep the works. Fixed Cost By-Laws can draft the relevant motions to make such a by-law and all other matters right up to registration of the by-law.

Types of renovation by-laws

Listed below are some examples of renovation by-laws.

  • Air conditioning

 

  • Awnings, shutters and pergolas

 

  • Bathrooms

 

  • Balcony enclosure

 

  • Doors

 

  • Fencing

 

  • Floor coverings

 

  • Foxtel and satellite dishes

 

  • Gas installation

 

  • Gardens       

  • Hot water systems

 

  • Kitchens

 

  • Security systems

 

  • Signage

 

  • Skylights

 

  • Solar panels

 

  • Storage cages

 

  • Wall removal

 

  • Windows

Exclusive use

An exclusive use by-law contains a right granted by the Owners Corporation to an owner or owners to exclusively use and enjoy a specific part or the whole of the common property to the exclusion of all other owners.

 

An example of an exclusive use right is the right of an owner to use a common property parking space to park their car.

 

Sometimes an Owners Corporation will require compensation (either a lump sum or periodic payments) to be paid by the owner for the grant of the exclusive use right.

 

Exclusive use rights may also form part of a past or future renovations by-law. For example, an Owners Corporation may authorise an owner to install new tiles and waterproofing membrane to a bathroom of a lot in addition to a grant of exclusive use rights to the owner of all common property affected by the works.

Fixed Cost By-Laws can draft the relevant motions to make such an exclusive use by-law and all other matters right up to registration of the by-law.

 

What are the key terms in these by-laws?

These by-laws will typically have a clause:

  • Granting authorisation, a special privilege and/ or an exclusive use right.

  • Describing the common property affected.

  • Requiring the owner to be responsible for the future repair and maintenance of the relevant part of the common property benefitting that owner.

  • Setting the conditions of any work (e.g. council approval, hours of work, and certification).

  • Indemnifying the Owners Corporation against any claim, damage or loss arising out of the subject matter of the by-law.

  • Setting out what will happen if the owner breaches the by-law.

 

  • Requiring the owner to pay all costs associated with the registration and enforcement of the by-law.

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Questions?

Please review our frequently asked questions, glossary, or contact us. We look forward to serving you!