• This topic has 9 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by .
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #45402
    AvatarYolBee
    Flatchatter

    We have a super interesting, and confusing strata plan whereby “the whole of the structure of the building within each lot forms part of that lot and is not common property”. We are hoping to get some air-conditioning upstairs. The condenser unit will be in the courtyard (which forms part of the lot and is not common property). Many others in the complex have air con set up in this way, and therefore what we are doing is, from a aesthetic perspective, “in keeping with the rest of the building”. Our strata manager has advised we need a meeting of the owners corporation to approve this, so we will probably get our air-con just as winter is again approaching. We cant seem to get an answer as to which by laws/part of the act determines that this indeed needs OC approval? Does anyone have any insights?

     

    #45427
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Basically you only have to get approval from the committee (representing the owners corp) which may not be unreasonbly refused, unless the work involves structural changes.

    I would be tempted to send a email to the secretary and strata manager, explaining what you intend to do and  how this complies with the Act, adding that if you haven’t heard within 14 days you will assume approval has been given and you will proceed as outlined.

    This is not strictly legal but it will move things along and might even prompt the required strata committee meeting to be held.  If they drag their feet, it might be interesting to check the records for the permission the other owners got (or didn’t) for their air-con.

    Section 110 of the Act says this:

    110   Minor renovations by owners

    (1)  The owner of a lot in a strata scheme may carry out work for the purposes of minor renovations to common property in connection with the owner’s lot with the approval of the owners corporation given by resolution at a general meeting. A special resolution authorising the work is not required.

    (2)  The approval may be subject to reasonable conditions imposed by the owners corporation and cannot be unreasonably withheld by the owners corporation.

    Section 28 of the regulations says this:

    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:

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

    Note.  The work prescribed by this clause is subject to the requirements set out in section 110 (7) of the Act, including requirements that it does not involve structural changes, changes to the external appearance of a lot or waterproofing.

    Section 110 of the Act also says:

    (4)  Before obtaining the approval of the owners corporation, an owner of a lot must give written notice of proposed minor renovations to the owners corporation, including the following—

    (a)  details of the work, including copies of any plans,

    (b)  duration and times of the work,

    (c)  details of the persons carrying out the work, including qualifications to carry out the work,

    (d)  arrangements to manage any resulting rubbish or debris.

    (5)  An owner of a lot must ensure that—

    (a)  any damage caused to any part of the common property by the carrying out of minor renovations by or on behalf of the owner is repaired, and

    (b)  the minor renovations and any repairs are carried out in a competent and proper manner.

    (6)  The by-laws of a strata scheme may provide for the following—

    (a)  additional work that is to be a minor renovation for the purposes of this section,

    (b)  permitting the owners corporation to delegate its functions under this section to the strata committee.

    (7)  This section does not apply to the following work—

    (a)  work that consists of cosmetic work for the purposes of section 109,

    (b)  work involving structural changes,

    (c)  work that changes the external appearance of a lot, including the installation of an external access ramp,

    (d)  work involving waterproofing,

    (e)  work for which consent or another approval is required under any other Act,

    (f)  work that is authorised by a by-law made under this Part or a common property rights by-law,

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

    (8)  Section 108 does not apply to minor renovations carried out in accordance with this section.

    Note:  Section 132 enables rectification orders to be made against owners of lots for damage caused by work done by owners.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by .
    #45436
    AvatarYolBee
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks Jimmy-T. Most of the above refers to common property, including section 110. The air con will not be installed on common property. The entire lot and eveything in it, apart from two shared walls, and the fence and any shared cabling (there is none), are part of the lot and are not common property. Would those parts of the act and regulations then still apply?

    It may change the external appearance of the lot, but then everyone has the same set up so it will be “in keeping with the buildings look” – as per our by law.

    I was advised it has to go to a meeting of the entire OC. All seems a tad excessive. We really struggled in the recent heat.

    #45456
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    YolBee said:

    I was advised it has to go to a meeting of the entire OC. All seems a tad excessive.

    Indeed it is. Unless your Owners Corp has previously specifically ruled that questions like this have to be resolved at a general meeting, then this decsion can and would normally be made by the committee.

    Section 36(2) of the Act says: “A decision of a strata committee is taken to be the decision of the owners corporation.”

    #45434
    AvatarColonel Schultz
    Flatchatter

    Also take a look at this case below

    Ashbee v The Owners – Strata Plan No 11761 [2018] NSWCATCD 80

    https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/5c9c1b89e4b02a5a800bf9f4

    Note: in this case the condenser was on common property.

     

    #45472
    AvatarYolBee
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for your responses. My question more relates to whether I even need approval in the first place given, a) the air con will not be installed on, or anywhere near, the common property (thanks to our interesting strata plan) and, b) it will be in “keeping with buildings look” (our only applicable by-law in this case), as mostly everyone has air con, and likely never went through the approval process.

    #45489
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    You might assume that the fact the work is no-impact or low-impact on common property makes it a “cosmetic” renovation but Section 106 of the Act states that “prescribed” work isn’t covered by that section (below). Installation of split system aircon is prescribed work (in the strata regs).

    Also Section 106 excludes work that changes the outward appearance of the lot (even if it means it will look exactly like the other lots).

    So, basically we are back at the previous advice.  Tell them that you are installing the air-con, send them the details and inform them that they don’t need a full general meeting to approve it as it could be done via a ringaround.

    Section 106 Cosmetic work by owners

    (1)  The owner of a lot in a strata scheme may carry out cosmetic work to common property in connection with the owner’s lot without the approval of the owners corporation.

    (2)  Cosmetic work includes but is not limited to work for the following purposes—

    (a)  installing or replacing hooks, nails or screws for hanging paintings and other things on walls,

    (b)  installing or replacing handrails,

    (c)  painting,

    (d)  filling minor holes and cracks in internal walls,

    (e)  laying carpet,

    (f)  installing or replacing built-in wardrobes,

    (g)  installing or replacing internal blinds and curtains,

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

    (3)  An owner of a lot must ensure that—

    (a)  any damage caused to any part of the common property by the carrying out of cosmetic work by or on behalf of the owner is repaired, and

    (b)  the cosmetic work and any repairs are carried out in a competent and proper manner.

    (4)  The by-laws of a strata scheme may specify additional work that is to be cosmetic work for the purposes of this section.

    (5)  This section does not apply to the following work—

    (a)  work that consists of minor renovations for the purposes of section 110,

    (b)  work involving structural changes,

    (c)  work that changes the external appearance of a lot, including the installation of an external access ramp,

    (d)  work that detrimentally affects the safety of a lot or common property, including fire safety systems,

    (e)  work involving waterproofing or the plumbing or exhaust system of a building in a strata scheme,

    (f)  work involving reconfiguring walls,

    (g)  work for which consent or another approval is required under any other Act,

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

    (6)  Section 108 does not apply to cosmetic work carried out in accordance with this section.

    #45496
    AvatarColonel Schultz
    Flatchatter

    At some stage I assume you will need to run the cables and pipework through a hole in a wall from the condenser to the inside air conditioner. That’s normally covered over by alluminium or plasric ducting attached to the wall. You may also need a drip drain for the condenser in some cases, although sounds unlikely in your situation.

    If that is the case, is that external wall common property?

    If the installation effects any common property then the above will apply but I agree that its a tad excessive, especially if others have installed theirs on a wink and a nod.

    Better to go along with it and get the approval as that way you won’t be threatened to have it removed if you just go ahead and put it in.

    The approval can’t be unreasonably refused anyway as stated.

    As an alternative, portable air conditioners are good, we had one for a while, we used it in the bedroom, did the job. You use one of them while you wait and then sell it perhaps or buy one secondhand.

     

    #45619
    AvatarYolBee
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks both again,

    I have previously suggested a ring around about other issues (parking issues) and seems its not an option  – must be a ‘meeting’.

    In relation to your questions Coloner Schultz, the wall is not common property.

    and yes, agree its worth going through approval (if we don’t end up selling the place before we get the chance)

    #45634
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I can’t possibly advise you to ignore strata law, but if it was me, with the summer of hell we have ahead of us, I would tell them that I had given them the chance to discuss this and their delays are unreasonable, so I would be going ahead with the installation and if they wish to meet to try to prevent this, to just let me know.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.