Renovations and improvements are a fun way to refresh a weary property, increase value, and make modifications that will improve the space’s functionality. What approvals you’ll need and what rules you’ll have to obey will depend on whether you’re a tenant or the property’s owner.
Requirement for Tenants
As a strata renter, most alterations to the building must first be approved by your landlord, who may then need to seek approval from the Owners Corporation.
You’ll almost certainly need permission from your landlord if you wish to hang pictures or drapes, paint walls, install a paid TV antenna/satellite dish, or make any other alterations to the property.
What If you’re a Business Owner?
Specific alterations and enhancements will require authorization as an owner, but not all changes. This varies by state and is primarily determined by each Strata title’s bylaws.
The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (“SSMA 2015”) in NSW has made this slightly easier for Owners of corporations using the model bylaws.
It’s also possible that you’ll need to seek council clearance for improvements, so do your research and ask questions before starting any renovations or upgrades to your home.
Basic principles apply in all states, but one of the most important factors to examine is whether your work will damage the building’s exterior.
These restrictions also apply to the following:
1. Air conditioning installation
2. Dish satellites
3. Patio awnings
4. Sails that provide shade
5. Illumination from the outside
All of these scenarios will require Owners Corporation (and maybe council) permission to define what is and isn’t permitted in terms of exterior unit location, colors, sizes, and other factors and whether or not they are allowed.
Another factor to consider is the amount of noise your remodeling will produce and any other concerns it may bring.
Bathroom remodels and flooring changes may require clearance because there are waterproofing concerns in the bathroom and noise concerns if you wish to go from carpet to tiles in a high-rise complex. When it comes to getting your work-from-home office space approved by your strata corporation, you may be intimidated. A lot of people, after all, are afraid of the process. If you’re in a similar situation and are wondering what the process is for strata approval, you can breathe easy—with the right information and resources; it can definitely be done.
So, How Does It Work?
⦁ Read the bylaws if you’re renovating a strata-titled home. These guidelines govern the use of the common property and spell out what renovations aren’t permitted. Even if you’ve renovated before, you should double-check the bylaws for distinct strata complexes.
⦁ Make a list of the renovations you want to have done.
⦁ Contact your Owners Corporation for clarification if they fall under the scope of requiring Owners Corporation permission or if you are unsure:
⦁ Whether and what they ask you to submit.
⦁ The timeframes for doing so.
⦁ The format in which your application must be submitted.
⦁ Whether or not there are any fees associated with your application.
⦁ This may imply that you will need to obtain prices and information for the job(s) and proof that licensed tradespeople will perform the work.
⦁ Provide your Owners Corporation with all of the information they demand, clearly and concisely, and within their timeframes.
⦁ It’s usually preferable to ask questions and double-check than to do something that subsequently causes a problem or, worse yet, must be undone.
And, Like With Any Project
⦁ Make sure you acquire several quotes.
⦁ Verify that the tradesman you’ve picked is licensed, registered, and insured.
⦁ Be prepared for unexpected costs; things don’t always go as planned.
⦁ Ensure your tradespeople don’t bother your neighbors by not being considerate, blocking entrances and exits, or leaving construction debris in common areas.
You may be intimidated when getting your work-from-home office space approved by your strata corporation. A lot of people, after all, are afraid of the process.
If you’re in a similar situation and wonder what the process is for strata approval, you can breathe easy—with the correct information and resources; it can be done.
Do you have questions about upgrading your unit in strata-titled property? Contact one of our qualified and experienced SBS Australia for assistance right now.