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Strata FAQ’s and Tips

What is a “by-law”?

By-laws are:

  1. enforceable rules that bind owners and occupiers in a strata scheme,
  2. which are registered at Land Registration Services NSW,
  3. which cannot be inconsistent with the law or by-laws contained in higher umbrella statements, such as, community management statements for the strata scheme, and
  4. which can only be enforced in the NSW Civil & Administration Tribunal or appellant courts or Supreme Court of NSW.

What are the typical by-laws that strata schemes usually adopt?

These are some of the most frequently adopted by-laws by owners corporations:

  • Keeping of pets.
  • Restrictions on smoking.
  • Work program by-law for renovation works.
  • Prohibition of short-term rental agreements.
  • Delegation of authority for minor renovations.
  • Renovation by-laws.
  • Restrictions round hard surface floor covering by-laws.
  • Moving and storage of goods or furniture.
  • Installation of EV chargers and solar panels.

What is the way to enforce a by-law?

Two commonly used options to enforce by-laws are:

  • Owners corporations can issue a notice to comply under section 146 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 followed by a penalty application for proceedings in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The penalty range is $1,100 to $11,000 depending on the type of by-law and weather there is a repeated breach. The penalty is payable to the owners corporation.
  • Alternatively, owners corporations or owners can seek mediation at Fair Trading to reach agreement and if a suitable agreement cannot be reached an application for orders to prevent breach in NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
  • Where urgent considerations apply owners corporations apply or owners can seek interim orders like an injunction can be applied for in the NSW Civil and
    Administrative Tribunal.

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