Saturday, December 5, 2020

Can we make a rule on strata letterbox locks

Strata letterbox locks

David’s question relates to strata letterbox locks.

We live in a large apartment block in Canberra City.

To prevent the hodgepodge of alternative letterbox locks that are appearing, the Executive Committee would like to specify an approved alternative letterbox lock for those people who want to replace the standard lock.

Our strata manager says we are not allowed to and residents can use whatever replacement letterbox locks they want.

Is this correct, or can we specify in the House Rules what locks are to be used?

We live in a large apartment block in Canberra City.

To prevent the hodgepodge of alternative letterbox locks that are appearing, the Executive Committee would like to specify an approved alternative letterbox lock for those people who want to replace the standard lock.

Our strata manager says we are not allowed to and residents can use whatever replacement letterbox locks they want.

Is this correct, or can we specify in the House Rules what locks are to be used?

Hi David,

It seems quite reasonable that the owners corporation want to maintain the aesthetics of the building including that of the mail box area.

It is more likely than not that strata letterboxes are common property and are the responsibility of the owners corporation to properly maintain and keep in a state of good and serviceable repair under division 3.3 section 24 of the Act.

That said, if the executive committee are happy to allow residents to use their own strata letterbox locks, it is reasonable that the owners corporation adopt a house rule that stipulates an approved alternative lock.

Please note that house rules are not enforceable unless they are registered. This is probably what your strata manager wanted to convey. It’s very unlikely that owners would challenge a house rule for strata letterbox locks. You could even have it officially passed by owners at your next AGM.


Read related: House rules of the owners corporation


As a suggestion, the owners corporation could even bulk buy the approved padlocks and re-sell them to residents.

Strataville Editorial
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