Know your by-laws

A recent article in Smart Property Investment “Everything you need to know about Sydney’s strata by-laws” provides a good explanation about some of the most common by-laws.

If you’re new to strata it may help you to understand that community living, which is what strata is, can only be successful if there is a regulatory framework that provides residents and owners with some assurances about their property.

By-laws, in essence, promote harmonious communities if they are observed and are not onerous.

Most strata schemes will have adopted the model by-laws set out in the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015. Since the new legislation took effect in late 2015, the new model by-laws provide guidance around issues such as pets, parking, parties and smoking as well as other matters that affect common property.

NSW Fair Trading also has information on its website about by-laws. It says that “a by-law must not be harsh, unconscionable or oppressive”.

By-laws should be regularly reviewed by the strata committee to ensure they continue to meet the requirements of the scheme. Where changes to by-laws are needed they must be put to a special resolution at a meeting of the owners corporation and must be agreed to by no less than 75 percent of those eligible to vote.

By-laws must not be contrary to the Act and are required to be registered with NSW Land Registry Services.

It’s always best to seek professional advice when considering changing or adding by-laws. Solicitors who specialise in strata law can assist with this.

Remember everyone – owners and residents – must observe the by-laws and breaches can attract a legally enforceable fine.