What are by-laws?
By-laws are the set of rules and regulations by which the Owners’ Corporation controls the operation of an apartment block.
There are standard by-laws that apply to all Strata Title buildings, and by-laws that apply only to one particular block.
By-laws cover such things as:
- Architectural and landscaping guidelines
- Renovating your unit
- Behaviour of residents – everything from noise to suitable dress on common property
- Floor coverings
- Garbage disposal
- Keeping of pets
- Security and safety measures
- Use of facilities and common property
Every owner should have a copy of the by-laws that cover their owners’ corporation, so they understand the rules they will be required to live by.
What problems do people have with other unit owners?
There are three major areas that cause problems – interaction of people, (bad behaviour, nude bathing on the roof) disputes over common property (people parking their cars in forbidden places) and problems with the physical structure of the building (leaky tiles from next door’s bathroom).
Can I keep an animal in my unit?
This depends on the by-laws for the building and sometimes the type and size of the animal.
Can I install an air conditioning unit on the outside of my windows?
It depends on the owners’ corporation. In some older buildings, outside air conditioning may have been allowed previously.
Can I hang my washing outside?
No. The general standard by-law requires that owners must not keep anything on their lot that is not in keeping with the appearance of the rest of the building.
Can I keep my bike on the balcony?
No, for the same reason as not hanging the washing there.
Can I put a storage box in my car space?
If the car space is underground or out of sight, the answer is usually yes. If it’s in full sight, the standard by-law about having items on the lot that are not in keeping with the appearance of the rest of the building applies.
Can I take advantage of a visitors’ car park that is never used?
No. The provision of a visitor car park may be one of the reasons a developer or builder got permission to develop the block. Even if this is not the case, car parks are likely to be emotional issues with the Owners’ Corporation.
What are the hours I can use the pool?
The hours are laid down in the by-laws and use outside them comes under the heading of residents ‘not making undue noise’.
What if I want Foxtel?
This depends on whether the building has provision for Foxtel or not. If it already does, all you have to do is get the service connected to your unit. When there is no general access to the building, permission is needed to install a satellite dish on common property (the roof).