Why have By-laws?
By-laws are made to facilitate the administration and harmony (ie the smooth and dispute-free running) of the strata scheme. They generally cover the use of common property and the behaviour of residents but can also deal with many other aspects of the scheme.
Without them the scheme would basically operate as a 'free-for-all' situation where anyone could essentially do whatever they pleased to their property, the common property and each other. Just imagine the sort of chaos that situation would create over time.
By-laws usually pertain to:
- Parking restrictions and use of allocated areas
- Keeping of pets
- Garbage disposal
- Use of facilities and common property
- Behaviour of residents - noise, hanging of washing, offensive behaviour, etc
- Security and Safety measures
- architectural and landscaping guidelines
- other appropriate matters specific to the type of strata scheme in use
- Installation and use of Floor coverings
- Installation and use of Air conditioners, pergolas, tv & satellite access
All residents (tenants and owners) must adhere to the by-laws in accordance with the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 - or face the possibility of penalties (usually in the form of fines) issued by the NSW Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal (sometimes referred to as the CTTT), a division of the NSW Dept of Commerce.
By-laws are enforceable by law
Schedule 1 By–laws
An owner or occupier must no make noise at any time within your lot or on common property that is likely to disturb peaceful enjoyment of another resident or anyone using common property.
An owner or occupier must not park or stand a vehicle on common property without the written permission of the owners corporation.
That permission can be cancelled. Permission does not give you a permanent right over that part of common property.
3. Obstruction of common property
An owner or occupier must not stop lawful use of common property by another person.
4. Damage to lawns, etc on common property
An owner or occupier must not damage any lawn, garden, tree, shrub, plant or flower on the common property. You must not use any part of common property as your own garden.
5. Damage to common property
An owner or occupier must not damage any structure that is part of the common property unless you have the owners corporation’s written permission. Owners are responsible for maintaining anything they have installed. This rule does not stop you from installing a locking or safety device or screens for protection against intruders or to prevent entry of animals or harm to children. They must be installed in a professional manner and be in keeping with the appearance of the rest of the building.
6. Behaviour of owners and occupiers
An owner or occupier must be adequately clothed when on the common property. You must not use language or behave in a way which might offend or embarrass others using common property.
7. Children playing on common property
An owner or occupier must make sure any child under your control does not play on common property areas inside the building. Children must be supervised by an adult when on common property laundries, car parking areas or other areas dangerous to children. This does not stop children from playing unsupervised on common property areas outside the building that are not dangerous (eg. a lawn).
8. Behaviour of invitees
An owner or occupier must make sure your visitors do not behave in a way which might disturb the peaceful enjoyment of another resident. This applies to behaviour in a lot and on common property.
9. Depositing rubbish, etc on common property
An owner or occupier must not throw rubbish, dirt, dust or other materials on the common property that may interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of another resident.
10. Drying of laundry items
Unless an owner or occupier has the written permission of the owners corporation, they must not hang washing, towelling, bedding, clothing or other articles on any part of the strata scheme (eg. on the balcony of your lot) so that it may be seen from outside the building. Clothing hung on the common property clothes lines must only be there for a reasonable time.
11. Cleaning windows, etc
An owner or occupier must clean all glass in windows and doors on the boundaries of your lot, even though they may be common property.
12. Storage of inflammable liquids
An owner or occupier must get written permission from the owners corporation if you want to store any inflammable materials in your lot or on common property. But you may store these materials without permission if they are to be used for domestic purposes.
13. Moving furniture, etc on, or through, common property
An owner or occupier must tell the owners corporation executive committee if they are going to move large objects or furniture through common property areas of the building. This allows an executive committee representative to be present during the move.
14. Floor coverings
An owner must cover the floor of their lot or treat it to stop noise which may disturb another resident. This does not apply to the kitchen, laundry, lavatory or bathroom of a lot.
15. Garbage disposal
An owner or occupier must keep a clean, dry and adequately covered garbage bin in your lot or on the authorised part of the common property. You must make sure your garbage is securely wrapped and all tins and containers are properly drained. You must put your garbage out to be collected, in the area chosen by the owners corporation, no earlier than 12 hours before collection. You must return your garbage bin to the proper place as soon as possible after collection. You must not put any rubbish in another resident’s garbage bin, unless you have their permission. You must make sure that any rubbish spilt from your garbage bin is removed.
16. Keeping of animals
An owner or occupier must not keep an animal unless you have the written permission of the owners corporation. The owners corporation must not unreasonably refuse permission to keep an animal.
17. Appearance of the lot
Unless an owner or occupier has the written permission of the owners corporation, they must not keep anything within their lot that is not in keeping with the appearance of the rest of the building. This does not apply to the hanging of any washing, towelling, bedding, clothing, or other articles mentioned in By-law 10.
An owners corporation must put up a noticeboard somewhere on the common property.
19. Notice of a change of lot usage
An occupier must give the owners corporation notice if the use of the lot changes and the insurance premium for the scheme changes. For example, change to a hazardous activity using chemicals, or change from residential use to commercial or industrial use.
20. Fire safety inspections
An owners corporation must comply with a requirement of a notice to carry out an inspection of a building or premises for purposes relating to fire safety given under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.