The Owners Corporation can adopt rules (formerly articles) to manage day-to-day living in the units plan. Rules address a range of matters such as use of the common property, repairs and maintenance, noise, and parking arrangements.
In the Australian Capital Territory, the default rules of an owners corporation are set out in schedule 4 of the Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011 (the Act). The default rules apply to owners corporations established on or after 30 March 2012. Owners corporations established before this date can adopt some or all of the default rules.
Recognising that unit plans come in all shapes and sizes, owners corporations are given the power (s 108), by special resolution (two thirds majority of a quorum), to amend or add to the default rules to suit their circumstances, within the bounds of the law.
Please note: Rules or house rules of the owners corporation are not enforceable unless they are registered. Rules are known as by-laws in other jurisdictions.
Rules or house rules are intended to allow owners and residents of units to be able to enjoy the use of their property in reasonable peace and harmony. Therefore, it is important to be aware of your responsibilities and obligations when you own or live in a strata unit.
All unit owners and occupiers must comply with the rules of the owners corporation. If you are a unit owner and you are unsure of the content of the rules of your owners corporation, you can request a copy of the rules from the executive committee (or manager) of your owners corporation.
If the executive committee reasonably believes that a unit owner or occupier has contravened the rules of the owners corporation, and it is likely that the contravention will be continued or repeated, the owners corporation may, if authorised by an ordinary resolution of the executive committee, give the person a notice (a rule infringement notice) requiring the person to remedy the contravention. (Section 109) A person commits an offence if the person does not comply with the notice.
An owners corporation may consider adding to the default house rules to give all owners and residents clarity and guidance on other aspects of strata living. House rules might, as required, address things like:
- Acceptable behaviour in common property (noise, nuisance, dress, offensive language, littering, damage and defacement)
- Use of common property
- Resident Parking
- Visitor Parking
- Respect for privacy
- Use of and restrictions on storage facilities
- Use of recreational facilities (e.g. pool, gym, common room, workshop, tennis courts).
- Garbage disposal arrangements
- Laundry and clothes drying
- How to deal with an electrical, plumbing or other problem
- Erection of signs
- Procedure for processing Insurance claims.
- Process for dealing with overdue levies.
- Functions of and dealing with the Executive Committee.
- Functions and duties of a manager and the responsibility for overview of those functions.