Thinking of renovating?
The application process for strata renovation in apartments has never been easier. By-law reforms have been introduced to simplify and streamline the process into something much more sensible and accessible.
What are the strata laws or rules for renovating
The by-law reforms have created three categories for strata renovation that break down the style of work and the approval process necessary to begin.
Cosmetic covers jobs like installing hooks, nails or screws, along with simple manual jobs like installing handrails, painting and filling holes and cracks on the walls. Owners now have the approval to tackle these jobs without seeking the approval of the owner’s corporation.
Minor Strata Renovation
This deals with things like changing a kitchen, light fittings or wooden floors. Minor renovations also include reconfiguring internal walls and installing air-conditioning. A general resolution by the owner’s corporation is needed for this category. For a general resolution to pass, it requires not less than 50% of those entitles to vote.
Major Strata renovation
Major strata renovations surround work of a structural nature like waterproofing or work that will change the external appearance of your apartment. This also includes work that requires approval under other laws, like those of your local council. This sort of renovation is only possible if the owner’s corporation provide permission under a special resolution. This requires a vote of 75%.
Five Top tips for Strata Renovation Approvals
If you have a renovation on the horizon make sure you take note of the following. Preparation is the key to success!
Know where you stand
Common space encompasses far more of the apartment than you might expect. Changes can go from the simple to the complex swiftly. Familiarise yourself with the common property laws and leave nothing to chance to avoid nasty surprises and obstacles.
Know your by-laws
Before you go into specifics, understand how best to approach the owner’s corporation. Get your hands on a copy of the strata by-laws. Strata by-laws will change from building to building, so never assume that what worked for you in one building will carry on to the next.
Plan with a professional
Planning with a professional designer or architect will greatly improve the quality and focus of your plan. It will also help with selling the idea to the owner’s corporation and assuaging any concerns they may have. This also holds true for the tradespeople you employ. Professionals will know how to conduct themselves, and they are required to abide by the strata codes of conduct while on the premises. Don’t forget that you are liable for any damage to common space during the process.
Patience is a virtue when it comes to renovating. No matter how badly you may want break out the sledgehammers and go wild, these things take time. Remember that apartment living is about co-existence.
Be kind to your neighbours
Please be considerate of your neighbours. The best thing you can do is to communicate plans at least two weeks in advance, in writing and in person if you can manage it. You want them on your side. The process of a strata renovation is never relaxed but the by-law reforms have made it far easier to prepare. Arm yourself with this knowledge and make sure you do your homework.
For further information visit the Fair Trading website