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Several renovations - One special by-law?
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bluehouse
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05/08/2017 - 1:19 am
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We have a new owner in our strata scheme who is very enthusiastic about throwing themselves into a number of renovations to their townhouse, but they were unaware that renovations aren't so simple in a strata scheme. 

According to our Strata Manager, several items on their list require special by-laws - renovating bathroom (including tiles etc that can effect waterproofing), adding internal wall, adding shower to laundry and adding a pergola. Can they get a special by-law prepared to cover all of these items in one, or does each one need a separate by-law? 

Have others found any other ways to streamline this process for this situation?

I realise we need the bylaws in place (even though sometimes they seem counterintuitive), largely to protect Strata from extra responsibilities and expenses. But would be good to make things as simple as possible to do the right thing.

I am pretty sure others here have done some of those renovations and we don't have related special by-laws, and we have had two cases where special by-laws had to be passed after the finished work. If it is too complicated to do the right thing I fear there will be more owners just going ahead and doing renovations without approval and realistically there will be nothing we can do about it. (I know we can get orders to remove or alter the works, but realistically I don't think enough of our owners would have the motivation to vote for that).

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JimmyT
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05/08/2017 - 5:37 pm
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Bear in mind that the law changed late last year so the criteria for what is required may have changed.

You need to get the owner to separate the overall work into cosmetic, non-major and major alteration, each of which requires a different level of approval.  

It is in their interest to do this as they don't want to risk work that doesn't require a high level of approval being  delayed by failure to pass the big ticket items in an all-inclusive proposal.

The differences are defined in the Sections 109-111 of the strata Act and Section 28 of the Regulations.

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Puddn
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09/08/2017 - 12:34 pm
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There appear to be differences between the Act and the Regulations - especially when it comes to flooring.

The Act - Minor Renovations:

(3) Minor renovations include but are not limited to work for the purposes of the following:

(a) renovating a kitchen,

(b) changing recessed light fittings,

(c) installing or replacing wood or other hard floors,

(d) installing or replacing wiring or cabling or power or access points,

(e) work involving reconfiguring walls,

(f) any other work prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this subsection.

Regulations - Minor Renovations

28 Minor renovations by owners

Work for the following purposes is prescribed as minor renovations for the purposes of section 110 (3) of the Act:

(a) removing carpet or other soft floor coverings to expose underlying wooden or other hard floors,

(b) installing a rainwater tank,

(c) installing a clothesline,

(d) installing a reverse cycle split system air conditioner,

(e) installing double or triple glazed windows,

(f) installing a heat pump,

(g) installing ceiling insulation.

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JimmyT
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09/08/2017 - 1:17 pm
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It don't see anything essentially contradictory about these.  However Regulation (a) is one of the dumbest things I have seen in a while.

It's a clear sign that the people writing these regs have probably never set foot in an apartment block less than 10 years old (if at all).

Think of all these older buildings where the only insulation on timber floors was carpet (and very effective it was too).  Hey, lift the carpet and you have a free timber floor ... and a steady stream of complaints form your downstairs neighbours, arguments, visits to NCAT and misery.

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