How to Find Strata By-Laws

Strata By-Laws are the rules of Strata Schemes set by the Owners Corporation, which all Strata Owners and tenants are legally obligated to follow. While some By-Laws are common across all Strata Schemes, others may be specific to the property you live in – so it’s important that you know what they are.

  • If you’re already a Strata Owner or tenant, you should have received a copy of your scheme’s By-Laws within 7 days of signing your ownership or tenancy agreement.
  • If you want to check the current By-Laws, these are included on the Strata Roll and can be viewed by asking the Owners Corporation, Strata Committee or your Strata Manager.
  • If you’re considering buying Strata Property in NSW, you can check what By-Laws are in place by asking your selling agent or contacting NSW Land Registry Services.

What do By-Laws include?

Strata By-Laws can vary for each scheme. Strata Schemes can choose to adopt a general sample model of By-Laws or they may choose to add or modify By-Laws to satisfy the majority of Strata Owners.

By-Laws typically cover issues such as:

  • whether pets are allowed in the scheme and the responsibilities of owners
  • banning smoking in Common Property areas and protecting residents from hazardous smoke
  • setting noise limits and penalties
  • setting occupancy limits to prevent overcrowding
  • restricting short-term lettings
  • assigning parking spaces

It’s important to check the By-Laws and to consider whether they’re compatible with your lifestyle before you buy or rent Strata Property.

Can By-Laws change?

Yes. Owners Corporations can update By-Laws at any time to reflect the changing needs or concerns of owners and recommended state By-Laws may be adopted to address common issues. For a recent example, the new short-term rental laws for Strata Schemes in NSW now allow Owners Corporations to restrict short-term rentals if they choose to, which wasn’t previously possible.

As By-Laws reflect the Owners Corporation as a whole, any change to the By-Laws requires a Special Resolution vote of at least 75% approval from all Owners of the scheme. These new By-Laws then need to be registered with NSW Land Registry Services within six months and all Owners and tenants must be notified.

There are limits on the type of By-Laws that can be put in place. They must not be incompatible with the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 or considered “harsh, unconscionable or oppressive.” For example, By-Laws may not be used to restrict children or assistance animals.

If an owner or tenant breaches By-Laws – knowingly or unknowingly – the Strata Committee must first contact them with an explanation and a request to change their behaviour. If the breach continues, they can be served with a notice by the Owners Corporation and eventually issued with penalties by a Tribunal.

Talk to a Strata Manager in NSW

If you need help drafting, registering or enforcing By-Laws in your Strata Scheme, Lake Group Strata’s experienced Strata Managers in NSW can help.

To find out more about our services across Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, the Hunter Region and Myall Lakes, call our Charlestown office on 02 4942 3305 or our Maitland office on 02 4933 6466.

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