Want to do work or have already done work to your lot and need a by-law? We recommend ensuring your by-law contains sufficient information for the Owners Corporation to be fully informed about your works and also include clauses that sufficiently protect the interests of the Owners Corporation. Generally, a by-law should include the following:
- A detailed definition of the works being done. If available, plans of the works should be annexed to the by-law or at least to the meeting minutes at which the by-law was passed.
- If structural work is being carried out, then a structural engineer’s report should be provided confirming that the structural works will not affect the structural integrity of the building.
- State what documents and information will be provided to the Owners Corporation prior to commencing the works and once they are complete – for eg Council approval, engineers report, contractors information and insurances.
- State the conditions the lot owner and their contractors must comply with in carrying out the works – for example, the works should comply with relevant standards, be completed within a certain time, be conducted during specified hours, and for the lot owner to promptly rectify any damage caused by carrying out the works.
- State who will be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the works and the common property affected by the works – this is also a requirement under section 144 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.
- State that the lot owner will indemnify the Owners Corporation for any loss or damage caused by the works.
- State that the Owners Corporation has a right to remedy any default of the lot owner and recover its costs from the lot owner.
Once the by-law has been drafted, it is worthwhile to forward it to the strata manager and strata committee to get feedback on any further terms they may require before the by-law is presented to the Owners Corporation for approval. This will increase the likelihood of the by-law being passed the first time it is presented to the Owners Corporation.
You should also ensure that you provide to the strata manager your written consent to the by-law prior to the by-law being passed. This is a requirement under section 143 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.
A lot owner who follows the steps outlined above will find their Owners Corporation more agreeable to passing their by-law. This is because the by-law will be comprehensive and will address any issues the Owners Corporation may have about the works.
Article authors: JHS and AB.