Whether it’s to authorise a renovation, regulate pet ownership, or to give the executive committee permission to approve the installation of solar panels, any change, repeal, or addition of a by-law requires the filing of documentation with Land and Property Information (LPI). With more than 72,000 strata schemes across NSW, and a significant proportion of the NSW population who may want a by-law registered or changed, the LPI is governed by specific requirements that must be met by anyone wishing to change, add or repeal a by-law. A list of some (but not all) of these requirements is set out below:
- Has the proper form been used and is the right person/are the right people executing it?
- Do the details on the form relating to the new by-law match LPI’s existing file? For instance, if the new by-law is stated as being “Special By-law 3”, the last by-law in LPI’s records should be Special By-law 2, not Special By-law 1, or 3, or 4.
- Have all attachments been properly verified? LPI has an exacting standard in respect of verification and execution of attachments.
- Does the name of the owner of the affected lot, as set out in the by-law documentation, match the name on title for that lot, as recorded on the certificate of title (title deed)? For example, has Miss Elizabeth Smith now become Mrs Elizabeth Connor? Any discrepancies in name should be explained by way of statutory declaration, filed at the same time as the change in by-law documentation.
If LPI is not satisfied that the documentation provided is accurate or compliant with the relevant standards, it will issue a requisition notice. This notice sets out the areas that require attention and provides a timeframe within which documents should be re-lodged.
Depending on the change(s) required, the availability of the strata manager or, in the case of a self-managed strata scheme, the availability of all owners required to authorise amendments and affix the common seal of the owners corporation, it may take some time for changes to be made and the documents re-lodged. If documents are re-lodged after the expiry of LPI’s timeframe, a further fee of $107 will apply. The additional time taken also holds up registration of the by-law, which in turn prevents the owner or owners from being able to take the action the by-law is to authorise. Time may also be an issue as by-laws need to be registered within two years of being resolved upon.
Whilst at first glance filing LPI documentation and ensuring compliance with LPI processes may seem like child’s play, errors are easy to make and can be costly.
For more information about by-laws, please contact Allison Benson of our office.
Update March 2017
Since the above was posted in 2015, there have been a number of changes regarding registering by-laws. The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, which commenced on 30 November 2016, now requires that schemes wishing to register a change of by-law with the LPI to do so within six months after the date at which it was passed. The LPI have also updated their registration process, in particular, the approved form required to be used. The first updated occurred on 1 December 2016 required schemes to annex the change of by-law but also a consolidated set of by-laws incorporating the new change of by-law. The second change occurred in February 2017, the substantive change being that all changes to by-laws lodged using the approved form will have been passed pursuant to section 141 of the new Act. The LPI also introduced a $50 requisition fee for documents relating to dealings beginning on 1 January 2017.
|Legal Practitioner Director|
|Ph: (02) 4032 7990|