By Tony Cordato of Cordato Partners
When renovating a strata property, you need to ask the owners corporation for permission because it owns the building. It is different when renovating a house because you are renovating your own building.
Up until now, almost all strata renovations have required the owners corporation to give approval by way of a special resolution (a 75% majority) at a general meeting.
This requirement for approval by the owners corporation / body corporate arises because the external walls, the floor and the ceiling of each lot are common property, which is owned by the owners corporation. As a general rule, the strata owner owns only the skin of paint on the external walls and ceilings, the floor coverings, and of course the airspace and fittings in between.
The new Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) (the “Strata Management Act”) recognises three kinds of renovations – cosmetic, minor and major. It has made it easier for strata owners to carry out cosmetic work because no approval is required; and because only a simple majority resolution is required to approve minor renovations. A special resolution is required to approve major work.
This article explains the new rules for renovations – which apply to all strata property – strata units, strata townhouses and commercial strata properties.
The new rules for renovations to a strata property #1 – Cosmetic work
The new Strata Laws allow a strata owner to carry out cosmetic work, without asking for the approval of the owners corporation.
In this respect, the new Strata Laws simply confirm what owners have always assumed to be the case – hanging pictures, patching and painting, installing a security device, do not require approval.
The list of cosmetic work, and the rules that apply are found in Section 109 of the Strata Management Act, which is as follows: