This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Sir Humphrey Sir Humphrey 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #36218
    Avatar
    Enough of Strata
    Flatchatter

    Hi,

    Before this current NSW, SS Management Act (2015) & Regulations (2016) came into force I understood that “Improvements” to Strata (eg Privacy Screens) needed a “Special Resolution” to pass  (75% of Lot owners agree).  I have been told that that is no longer the case, and am unable to locate any reference to this in the current Act / Regulations. Would appreciate advice from anyone who knows for certain what the situation is.  Thanks in advance.

     

    • This topic was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Jimmy-T Jimmy-T.
    • This topic was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Jimmy-T Jimmy-T.
  • #36222
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I have edited this response due to having re-read Section 110 of the Strata Act which defines what is and isn’t a “Minor” change to a lot.  Bear in mind, “minor” changes still require Owners Corp approval but that can be given by the committee if certain standard by-laws are in place.

    With reference to the original question, subsection 7 (c) of Section 110 says that aspects defined as not being “minor” include:

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

    In other words, they would require a special resolution. Have a look at the restrictions and definitions laid out in section 110, in my post below

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Jimmy-T Jimmy-T.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Jimmy-T Jimmy-T.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Jimmy-T Jimmy-T.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Jimmy-T Jimmy-T.
  • #36224
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Section 110 of the Act defines Minor Renovations (below) as work that can be done with “the approval
    of the owners corporation given by resolution at a general meeting”.  Bear in mind that this approval can and often is given by the strata committee, provided the committee has been previously been given approval to make these decisions by a by-law approved at a general meeting. Section 111 (also below) refers to work affecting common property.

    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.
    (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.

    (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.

    111 Work by owners of lots affecting common property
    An owner of a lot in a strata scheme must not carry out work on the common property unless the owner is authorised to do so:
    (a) under this Part, or
    (b) under a by-law made under this Part or a common property rights by-law, or
    (c) by an approval of the owners corporation given by special resolution or in any
    other manner authorised by the by-laws.

    Additionally, the Regulations say 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:

    (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.

    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.

  • #36235
    Avatar
    Enough of Strata
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Greatly appreciated Jimmy,  Thanks.

    No wonder it was hard to find.  The query did relate to changing the external appearance of the building, so that gives certainty.  Thanks again.

     

  • #36237
    Lady Penelope
    Lady Penelope
    Strataguru

    Flatchatter – Are you anticipating installing a privacy screen? If you are then please be aware that S110(7) excludes anything that impacts on the appearance of a Lot.

    It is my understanding that privacy screens would therefore be excluded from the category of Minor renovations.

  • #36238
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    A ‘privacy screen’, if it actually has an effect on privacy, is necessarily visible from outside the lot.

    Reminds me of a long story that I won’t relate now about a privacy screen erected without permission to prevent overlook from a window that could not actually be seen out of. The screen was eventually removed after wasting a great deal of the time of committee members and the Tribunal and Magistrates Court.

  • #36253
    Avatar
    Enough of Strata
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks Lady Penelope & Sir Humphrey,  – its actually related to something that has already happened. Last year a GMtg passed a motion to replace balustrades (issue with that – could have been repaired).

    Quotes were presented at the Mtg as an Ordinary resolution (choose between the quotes received) & all included “Privacy Screens” (which were outside an Engineers recommended Scope of works). After it being challenged, the SM proceeded and it was passed (few attended). (From the above clearly a breach).

    1 Mth after the Mtg, the Ctee member who was pushing this resigns from the Ctee (still an owner).

    The work are complete and from the info available to me the owners appear to have been dudded, and there was likely an nice arrangement between the SM &  the Ctee member who resigned.  I want to get on Ctee @ next meeting (soon) and do a proper investigation, & try to recover funds spent un-necessarily if possible & bring people to account.

    What I really need is to be able to talk with a person who has been in a similar situation to get some tips, as the Strata is not flash with $ now & I will be in uncharted waters.  (NSW <20Lots)

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Sir Humphrey Sir Humphrey.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Jimmy-T Jimmy-T.
  • #36268
    Avatar
    Enough of Strata
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Hi Moderator :    The post appears to have a considerable amount of additional computer script included vs that originally posted.    Thanks

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