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  • #51964

    We are considering installing a solar system for our exclusive use in a medium sized complex. We understand the need for a special use by-law and wondered if there is a model by-law that has already been used or drafted for the purpose.

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  • #52228

    My property is in Queensland.

    The Committee is trying to regulate installation of solar for exclusive use on the roof above our units.

    There is no guidance on how to do this.  The Committee Members are trying to act in the best interests of all owners by limiting roof space and location to be used by individual owners, so that suitable space remains available for others who may choose to install solar in the future.


    Is there any information available on how to regulate the area and location of solar installations?

    Can the Committee just make their own rules on how they believe roof space should be allocated?

    How can the Committee refuse an application if they consider the size or location requested is not fair to other owners?





    Set out below is our by-law that was recommended to us by another user of this forum when I asked a similar question a few years ago. It was passed unanimously at an EGM and the roof of our four unit complex has since been divided into five equal zones for the benefit of each apartment owner and the common area electricity circuit. Under the same by-law, space has been allocated in the basement car park for batteries. Overall, a successful result with a better than forecast return on investment of over 12%. Here is the by law:

    Special By‐Law: Equipment located on Common Property

    Where a proprietor of a Lot desires to place equipment such as hot water, solar systems or air conditioning systems on the common property,

    1) The proprietor(s) of the Lot concerned must apply for the works and be granted written consent by the Owners Corporation, and at its absolute discretion, prior to the commencement of any works.

    2) All works must be completed by suitably qualified, licensed, and insured trades persons where required.

    3) All works to be at the cost of the proprietor of the Lot concerned.

    4) Where an air conditioning or hot water system is used it must be located in a position directed by the Executive Committee. The system must not interfere with the use of the common property by any other Lot owner or resident.

    5) All pipework must be lagged and insulated in order to avoid any possibility of burning.

    6) Where solar systems are used:

    1. a) the costs of any works within the common property meter room and/or to the common property electrical distribution system as are required under any electrical regulation or standard are the absolute responsibility of the Proprietor/s concerned, and
    2. b) all frames and solar panels used must be securely fastened to the common property and in the position approved by the Executive Committee, and
    3. c) where required in that approval, the ability of the common property to support the load must be certified by an appropriately qualified person.

    7) All pipework, wiring and electrical conduits must be installed/positioned and fastened neatly on the common property, and where any components of the installation such as but not limited to the equipment, pipework, and electrical conduit has, by necessity, to be placed in a position that is visible on the front façade of the property, those components must be suitably screened or concealed from view in the terms given in the Executive Committee’s approval.

    8) Any damage to common property caused by the installation or ongoing use of the equipment must be rectified within 14 days of occurrence by the proprietor of the Lot concerned. Where the proprietor of the Lot/s concerned fails to rectify any damage the Owners Corporation shall be authorised by this Special By‐Law to have the work completed and charge any and all costs to the proprietor(s) concerned.

    9) All costs of maintaining and/or replacing any and all components of any equipment including hot water, solar systems or air conditioning systems placed on common property under the provisions of this Special By‐Law are forever the absolute responsibility of the Proprietor/s concerned.


    Thanks for the information. Do you have any details on any by-law that has already been adopted for this purpose?


    Jimmy, could you please give me a reference or link to the strata law change you mentioned.

    Strata Answers have pretty much covered it in their response below yours.


    Thanks Sir Humphrey,

    It would be on the roof of an individual apartment, where there is more than enough space. It is a common property roof but is not on top of any other apartment. Another issue is in relation to placement of any battery and installing the connection between the solar array and the battery, which would need to pass through or across common property from the roof.

    Jimmy, could you please give me a reference or link to the strata law change you mentioned.

    Strata Answers
    (from NSW)

    My understanding of the Sustainability Infrastructure amendment  is that enables the passing  of Sustainability Infrastructure Resolutions for such things as solar installations with a simple 50% majority.

    Issues around the ownership of panels, common property rights and the responsibilities for  maintenance will clearly have to be addressed in a manner that binds both the affected lot owners and the OC. In other words where  individual owners are impacting on common property there will still need to be by-laws. Even if the solar infrastructure is OC owned, there will still most likely be a need for a by-law to regulate owner usage etc.

    This amendment does not do away with the need for by-laws but in effect means that by-laws relating to sustainability infrastructure can be passed with a 50% majority of those present at a meeting.

    John Hutchinson
    S T R A T A  A N S W E R S  practical solutions for strata living


    Sir Humphrey

    Would this be a solar PV system on the roof of an individual townhouse or on the common property of a block of flats? If the latter, I’d suggest that the limited roof space of a block of flats would be better off used for a communal purpose owned by the Owners Corporation rather than given over to one owner. You might want PV or a roof garden or a BBQ area with potted palms or solar preheating for the hot water system.


    I’d be tempted to wait and see if the strata law change (the one that had the “compulsory pets” amendment attached to it) come through.  That could allow you to make sustainable changes to common property without needing a by-law.

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