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Blanket bathroom Renovation By-Law
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david2708
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05/11/2017 - 2:15 pm
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I know of  up to 4 lots in my building of 12 that will be wanting to renovate their bathrooms in the next couple of years.

Is it possible to draw up a blanket special by-law to cover most of what is likely to be of issue. i.e waterproofing, moving of plumbing etc.

It seems silly for each lot to have to do separate by-laws each when they will be doing essentially the same thing.

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Lady Penelope
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05/11/2017 - 5:56 pm
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david2708 – I am not sure what you mean by  a “blanket special by-law”.

It is possible for the OC to purchase a “fill in the blanks” by-law template, or have a strata solicitor create a by-law template that can be used by any owners who wish to renovate and water proof their bathrooms. 

I am not sure whether strata solicitors would recommend this approach, although I can see that it would save owners the expense of having separate by-laws drafted by a solicitor each time an application is made.

Each owner who undertakes a bathroom renovation involving water proofing would still have to submit: a Special Resolution Motion; the by-law; and have both of them approved in accordance with the Act. They would also need to detail their schedule of works and attach it to the by-law. 

I have seen some providers online that charge $250 per by-law template. I don’t know how this price compares with obtaining a by-law directly from a strata solicitor, or what the end product is like.

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david2708
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05/11/2017 - 6:27 pm
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I understand each owner would have to provide a Special resolution motion and detail of the work. I just would have thought the building could have a registered by-law that would cover and make liable all owners to use for bathroom renovation rather than individual ones.

Essentially listing all the typical  bathroom renovations, ie waterproofing, change of plumbing etc and putting the onus on the owner for any damage to common property etc.

I don’t quite get why each unit owner would need a separate by-law for doing essentially the same thing each time.

We have a special by-laws in place to cover aircons and hot water tanks that cover all owners in terms of upkeep and liability.

Why can’t the building have one for bathrooms?

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Lady Penelope
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05/11/2017 - 7:02 pm
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David2708 – Perhaps the following article may help – especially (3) which explains that a generic or blanket by-law may be possible for bathroom renovations that include waterproofing: 

https://www.lookupstrata.com.au/strata-renovations-nsw/

and see here a further explanation of the legal issues involved and the need for a certain specificity in the generic by-law:

http://muellers.com.au/wp-cont……04.15.pdf

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david2708
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06/11/2017 - 11:49 pm
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Still a bit none the wiser.

I’ll throw up a likely scenario.

AGM next April.

Two units of the same configuration will gut their bathrooms(same original) but not move any plumbing.

Each go to the AGM with a Special resolution and two separate bylaws pretty much saying the same thing.

Why couldn’t they just use the one. Why pay double for the same thing?

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scotlandx
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07/11/2017 - 6:27 am
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We just did that – we had two lots with works which were completely different – one was a kitchen and bathroom renovation (including plumbing and waterproofing), the other installation of a rangehood and bathroom fan through common property.  We had one resolution for one by-law and the works were set out in a schedule, specifying which owner was responsible for what.

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Puddn
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07/11/2017 - 10:09 am
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In the scenario of a ‘common by-law’ for all bathroom renovations – how is it recorded that the lot owner has accepted to be responsible for ongoing repairs of the common property that were changed during the renovation?

I get it that a ‘common by-law’ gives permission to do the works, but does it also ensure that the lot owner has consented to ongoing repairs and maintenance?

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JimmyT
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07/11/2017 - 10:45 am
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I would think cases like this the Owners Corp would approach a strata lawyer or strata manager and ask them to prepare a by-law for which the OC would pay.  The renovators would then be invited to use that by-law at, say, 25 percent of its cost, or present a suitable by-law that they had paid to have drafted themselves.

At the end of the day, everybody has a properly constituted by-law – passed by separate special resolutions – that has cost them a fraction of the total and cost the OC nothing (if the committee has done their sums right).

This would have to be better that the scenario presented the last time I was on radio (see my podcasts on the front page of this website) where a management company was gouging money for writing, reviewing and passing by-laws for every little thing in their building.

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david2708
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08/11/2017 - 2:58 pm
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If the OC paid for a ‘common by-law’ why would a renovator need to pay 25% to use it since they as part of the OC contributed to its cost to begin with?

I would think such a common by-law can set out and specify a typical bathroom renovation with waterproofing, plumbing etc. and responsibility for ongoing maintenance and repair.

Owners can then choose to follow that guideline and use that OC by-law, whilst those who have some more elaborate of unusual type of renovation in mind can have their own by-law made up at their own cost.

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PaulChau
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09/12/2017 - 3:37 pm
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I think it should indeed be possible to come up with a “blanket” by-laws since every homeowner would be performing the same type of improvement works. If there is another owner who has done an upgrade before, perhaps you could ask for a copy of the by-laws that he/she had been presented with before. From there, you could tweak them a little according to your improvement needs. I think it is best to discuss with the other owners too so as to have a mutual agreement to have a standard set of by-laws.

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PaulChau
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09/12/2017 - 8:02 pm
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I have experienced mass renovation works at my apartment before but we did not encounter any huge problems with contractors’ parking, lifts demand and so on. They performed works during office hours so I was mostly at work before they arrived and I would only reach home after they have cleaned up for the day. I think their timing schedules were on point as most residents were office-hours’ workers. If you have major concerns, perhaps a discussion with your building management would help.

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confused1
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11/12/2017 - 11:55 am
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We have a few blanket by-laws paid for by the OC. They cover bathrooms and kitchens, solar panels, decking, air-conditioners, hot water heaters and flooring.

When an owner wants to renovate they fill out the pro-forma and attached their detailed design. Once approved at a GM they then need to register it at their cost (~$100) with LPI.

Pretty much when anyone wants to do something that requires a by-law and others may wish to similar in the future we go down this road. It’s a great system.

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david2708
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12/12/2017 - 3:48 pm
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We (the OC) ended up purchasing 3 blanket bylaws from one of the main strata law firms. One each  for cosmetic, minor and major renovations. There was a discount on purchasing all 3 and went with that. There was not much saving on picking 2 of the 3 when I thought the cosmetic one may be unnecessary.

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