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  • #9536
    Marvin
    Flatchatter

    I want to install a split system aircon in my townhouse, which involves putting a hole in a wall.  To do this by the book, I need to get a by-law drafted, approved and registered – correct?  I’ve been quoted a cost of approx $1,000 to draft and register the new by-law.  Does this sound reasonable?

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  • #21716
    Whale
    Flatchatter

    @Marvin said:…….. What if I was to get the OC to fund the preparation of a generic aircon by-law which would be considered at the next AGM?  I would put my own individual aircon motion on the same agenda, which would be considered subject to the new SBL being passed.

    That’s pretty much what’s been suggested, although taking Paul’s point on-board about the O/C perhaps wanting (as opposed to needing) to read the draft Special By-Law before voting on it. They could of course at their option leave finalisation of the final draft to the Executive Committee.

    The matters to be incorporated in the Special By-Law that you’re after have been spelt out in past responses, and whilst there are quite often Plan-specific subtleties that need to be incorporated, you may find something by way of a “shell” on-line or if you have a Strata Manager, they may have something on-file that’s been used by other Clients.  

    Time to get moving!

    #21714
    Marvin
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    I’m in NSW.  No SBLs exist for anything, and I suspect a number of airconditioners have already been installed without OC approval.  Safe to assume that the OC would want to offload maintenance responsibility to the relevant owner.

    What if I was to get the OC to fund the preparation of a generic aircon by-law which would be considered at the next AGM?  I would put my own individual aircon motion on the same agenda, which would be considered subject to the new SBL being passed.

    In relation to by-law wording & legal costs – there must be a standard set of words that could be reused.  This must be the easiest $800 a strata lawyer will make…

    #21712

    @Whale said:

     

    “THAT subject to the preceding Motion being carried and to avoid future requests of that type being put to General Meetings, the Owners Corporation Specially Resolves to draft and Register a Special By-Law to cover all relevant consent conditions for both the works by the Owner of Lot XXX and those applicable to any and all future requests for the installation of air conditioning systems by Owners at the Plan, at an estimated cost of $XXX.”

    I basically agree but once the motion to approve the a/c has passed by 75% you have then got to have another vote to approve the actual wording of the SBL. You cannot pre approve a bylaw without the actual wording AFAIK.

    It’s my opinion that the no of a/c units (or any change to CP) installed in NSW without any approval far exceeds those that do have the correct approval because the process is so cumbersome.

    #21711
    Whale
    Flatchatter

    My Mate Paul said ….. One thing doing it Whales way you not only need the motion to install the a/c approved by 75% but you then need the SBL to be approved by the same 75% as well. So skip the motion just submit a SBL for the a/c unit which saves having 2 votes.

    To be clear, in NSW (assuming that’s where Marvin’s Plan is located) any change or addition to the Common Property needs the prior consent of the O/C by way of a Special Resolution taken at a General Meeting, and ONLY if the O/C then wishes to make the Owner seeking to make those changes or additions and subsequent Owners of their Lot responsible for the ongoing maintenance, repair, and replacement of whatever’s changed or added, is a Special By-Law necessary.

     

    The O/C’s desire to shift its normal common property maintenance responsibilities to an Owner would depend upon what that Owner’s changing or adding to that property, but as I don’t envisage that Marvin’s O/C would want to accept those responsibilities for his aircon system and its points of attachment to the common property (wall), or to go through the Special Resolution / Special By-Law procedure for every similar request by other Owners, it makes sense for it to cover the costs of drafting and Registering a generic Special By-Law covering the installation of aircon systems at the Plan.

     

    Such a Special By-Law (if) prepared by Marvin’s O/C would likely cover generic conditions such as the permitted location/s for the aircon systems, the screening of the outside unit and refrigerant pipework, max. noise levels, operating times, contractor access to the common property, times of work, licensed tradespeople, and responsibilities for on-going maintenance/repairs/replacement.

     

    All that could be achieved by a single Motion worded such that the Special By-Law is conditional upon the aircon system’s installation being consented, or by two separate Motions; that latter being my preference if Marvin accepts my suggestion about the benefits of his O/C drafting and Registering a generic Special By-Law; or searching for one that’s already in place as Paul suggests.

     

    Contrary to Paul’s assertion, the Motions put by Marvin could be as simple as:

     

    “THAT it is Specially Resolved that the Owner of Lot X be permitted to install a XXX Brand XXX kW split system air conditioner, the technical specifications of which is attached, on the (aspect) wall of Lot XXX”

     

    “THAT subject to the preceding Motion being carried and to avoid future requests of that type being put to General Meetings, the Owners Corporation Specially Resolves to draft and Register a Special By-Law to cover all relevant consent conditions for both the works by the Owner of Lot XXX and those applicable to any and all future requests for the installation of air conditioning systems by Owners at the Plan, at an estimated cost of $XXX.”

     

    Doing things the right way in NSW isn’t as Paul suggests a bottomless pit (of $ or bureaucracy), but rather Special By-Laws in particular are a short-cut to ensure that from the first day they’re Registered, the matters that they address can handled smoothly, consistently, and expeditiously by the Executive Committee (i.e. no GMs).

    #21710

    This must be one of the most common requests by lot owners and so the first thing to do is see if a SBL is already registered for your strata and if so use that as the template and just put in your details. Also check if any other owners have a/c installed without a SBL.

    Their are more than 2,000 members on this site surely one of them could provide a copy of a suitable generic bylaw (I cannot because we don’t have this issue in QLD) that you could use. Bear in mind if this vote doesn’t happen at the AGM then you could be up for the costs of an EGM as well.

    Doing the right thing in NSW Strata is a bottomless pit of costs to the person who want to do it right.

    One thing doing it Whales way you not only need the motion to install the a/c approved by 75% but you then need the SBL to be approved by the same 75% as well. So skip the motion just submit a SBL for the a/c unit which saves having 2 votes.

    #21709
    Whale
    Flatchatter

    Marvin – firstly, it’s always best to manage strata “by the book”, particularly so in your case as in the absence of a prior consent to your aircon system by your Owners Corporation (O/C), it could successfully obtain Orders from the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal requiring you to remove the system and to reinstate the common property.

    The correct procedure is for you to formally seek the consent of your O/C to the proposed aircon installation by placing a Motion to that effect on the Agenda for your next General Meeting, where ≥75% of those Owners in attendance would need to vote in favour for your Motion to pass.

    Then once your Motion passes, and if your O/C wants to make you and subsequent Owners of your Lot wholly responsible for the maintenance and repair of the aircon system and that part of the common property to which it’s attached (i.e. the wall), then it should concurrently resolve to create and Register a Special By-Law in those terms, inclusive of the general conditions covering the installation of your aircon system.

    As for the costs of drafting and Registering the Special By-Law, the latter cost $115 so in your case there’s a quoted fee of $885 to draft the words, which is probably reasonable if there’s a Lawyer involved.

    However, unless there will never be a circumstance where other Owners will seek the O/C’s consent to install aircon systems (unlikely?), then it’s entirely reasonable for your O/C, which includes you by the way, to pay for the drafting and Registration of a generic Special By-Law covering such installations.

    This would give your Executive Committee the ability to itself grant future consents, and thereby avoid a Motion at a General Meeting on every occasion that an Owner wants to install an aircon system and further Special By-Laws of the same type (and presumably further $1K payments by Owners) for each consent.

    On the other hand, if you want to pay for that generic Special By-Law ……

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