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  • #55372

    I live in a townhouse complex where 6 of the 7 townhouses are underneath a penthouse apartment.

    With one week to go before our AGM the owners upstairs have suddenly circulated/ submitted a detailed proposal for what can only be described as a major renovation of their entire penthouse including relocating kitchen and bathroom, adding a lift , various other structural modifications etc. The implications for all owners and neighbours are huge , months of reno noise amongst one of them, implications to common property etc. Council consideration would be one issue but we would need independent engineering reports about accoustics , engineering structure  etc, etc.

    My head is spinning as to where to start. My questions are :- does a guide or check list exist anywhere for the sorts of things we owners (who live underneath) need to  to ensure are major aspects are considered. Who would bear the costs of needing to go to independent experts for reports ? Obviously we will have to suggest consideration be deferred to a subsequent meeting because of the short notice.

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  • #55375

    A few points.

    1. Relocating rooms and installing a lift will require council approval.  Do not under any circumstances accept a document from the builder that says this is a “complying development”.
    2. Council will need the strata committee’s approval before they issue the DA.
    3. It’s their renovation so they have to pay for the experts.
    4. It’s your (collective) building so you get to choose the experts.
    5. If they refuse to comply with these perfectly reasonable demands, you can refuse to pass the necessary by-laws and object to the renovation at council.  Either way, it stands a lot less chance of being approved.
    6. Defer the agreement – do not under any circumstances allow this to be approved at your imminent meeting.  That would just be insane.

    Now that that’s out of the way, you should try to see the renovation as a major upgrade to the whole scheme.  If it’s done properly and there are no noise issues from the lift and the relocated rooms (for instance) it’s an enhancement and should be encouraged.

    But you need to get things right at the start so that the owners don’t do a “quick and dirty” upgrade, then sell up and leave you and the new owners to deal with the problems they have left behind.

    You’re right that they haven’t left you enough time to decide and you should simply defer agreement to another general meeting to be set at a later date when you’ve had a chance to examine the proposals.

    And you could contact our sponsors Strata Answers, who will give you sound advice on how best to proceed.



    In NSW, if you say you’re an engineer, that’s it. So TPOD should make sure to get certificates of currency of the PI insurances of all the experts who review this development.


    TPODs experience is the very one that discouraged me from ”going strata”.

    Can only applaud the concise advice from JimmyT [broken hyperlink removed] on this topic.

    Cuts out the emotional aspect…homes in on the core …..


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