By-laws are registered on the common title of your Strata Plan and are the “set of rules” that apply to your Strata Scheme. On purchase of a lot or upon signing a lease of a strata lot, you are deemed to have agreed to be bound by the by-laws.

The purpose of your Strata Scheme’s by-laws is to clearly set out both the rights and the responsibilities of all occupiers (including owners, tenants, visitors) within the Strata Scheme.

The by-laws applying to a Commercial or Industrial Strata Schemes may include rules relating to:

1.      Architectural guidelines to be observed by lot owners – for example signs and signage location;

2.      Details of permitted use of common property and restrictions of use of common property – for example parking on common property areas;

3.      Requirements for garbage and recycling disposal – for example rubbish containers not permitted to be placed on common property areas;

4.      Safety and security measures – for example, storage of goods on common property or obstructing common property;

5.      Lot owners responsible for maintenance of certain common property items – for example a lot owner responsible for maintenance and repair of warehouse roller door, exterior entry doors or windows;

6.      Other matters as may be appropriate to facilitate use of your Strata Property.

Where can I obtain a copy of the by-laws?

The by-laws that apply to your Strata Scheme are registered on the Common Property Title of your Strata Plan. Your Strata Managing Agent will be able to provide you with a copy from the Strata Plan records. Alternatively, a copy of the by-laws can be obtained by contacting the NSW Department of Lands (Land & Property Information) or an approved lands information broker.

Are all By-Laws the same?

It is important to be aware of the specific by-laws that apply to your strata plan. The registered by-laws may differ considerably between strata plans, particularly for those by-laws applicable to commercial and industrial properties. You should consult the by-laws for each property you propose to purchase/lease before committing yourself to ensure that you are not proposing any action that would breach those by-laws.

When are the by-laws created?

The Strata Schemes (Freehold Development) Act requires that, when a Strata Plan is submitted for registration, it must be accompanied by the proposed by-laws for the Strata Scheme. These by-laws are registered with the Strata Plan.

The by-laws as registered are the rules that the original developer believes are appropriate to facilitate the ongoing smooth and efficient functioning of the Strata Scheme for benefit of all owners.

Can the by-laws be changed?

An Owners Corporation may make additional by-laws or make a by-law adding to, amending or repealing the by-laws for the Strata Scheme.

Changes to by-laws, or additional by-laws require a motion to be passed by Special Resolution at a general meeting of the Owners Corporation.

Can by-laws be enforced?

An Owners Corporation may serve a notice on the owner or occupier of a strata lot requiring the owner or occupier to comply with a specified by-law.

If the lot owner or occupier then continues not to comply with the by-law, the Owners Corporation may apply to the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal to impose a penalty on the offending owner or occupier for ongoing breach of the by-law.

A penalty of up to $550.00 can be imposed for ignoring a “Notice to Comply”.