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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. State that the lot owner will indemnify the Owners Corporation for any loss or damage caused by the works.
  7. 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.