Model By-Laws To Set The Standard – NSW


SSKB Strata managers reminds all NSW Owners Corporation communities to review and update their by-law as per the new legislation

By-laws – NSW

New strata laws apply in New South Wales from 30 November. SSKB has reviewed these new laws and in response to enquiries from our clients, we address five of the major changes that will affect your community. If you have any further questions regarding these changes, please contact your SSKB strata manager.

Amongst the innovations being implemented from the end of November will be by-laws dealing with smoking that intrudes into the common property or another person’s lot. SSKB covered this issue in depth last year. You can catch up with the article here.

These reforms will also amend the model by-laws to make it easier to keep pets.

The legislation provides two options for Owners Corporations:

Option A

  1. An owner or occupier of a lot may keep an animal on the lot, if the owner or occupier gives the owners corporation written notice that it is being kept on the lot.
  2. The notice must be given not later than 14 days after the animal commences to be kept on the lot.
  3. If an owner or occupier of a lot keeps an animal on the lot, the owner or occupier must:
    1. keep the animal within the lot, and
    2. supervise the animal when it is on the common property, and
    3. take any action that is necessary to clean all areas of the lot or the common property that are soiled by the animal.

Or, if an Owners Corporation decides to have by-laws regarding the keeping of pets, the Legislation recommends making sure the by-laws reflect Option B:

  1. An owner or occupier of a lot may keep an animal on the lot or the common property with the written approval of the owners corporation.
  2. The owners corporation must not unreasonably withhold its approval of the keeping of an animal on a lot or the common property and must give an owner or occupier written reasons for any refusal to grant approval.
  3. If an owner or occupier of a lot keeps an animal on the lot, the owner or occupier must:
    1. keep the animal within the lot, and
    2. supervise the animal when it is on the common property, and
    3. take any action that is necessary to clean all areas of the lot or the common property that are soiled by the animal.
  4. An owner or occupier of a lot who keeps an assistance animal on the lot must, if required to do so by the owners corporation, provide evidence to the owners corporation demonstrating that the animal is an assistance animal as referred to in section 9 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 of the Commonwealth.

If an Owners Corporation’s by-laws make no specific mention of pets, it will be deemed that Option A applies.

SSKB recommends that all Owners Corporations compare their by-laws with the model by-laws provided by the New South Wales government as a guide to deciding their own enforceable by-laws. The new legislation requires all existing schemes to review and, if required, lodge by-laws within 12 months of the legislation being introduced.

Over the next couple of months, SSKB will be liaising with industry legal specialists to look at ways to help Owners Corporation committees to convenient and comprehensively ensure their by-laws are compliant.

According to the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading, the strata reforms will allow schemes to take more action against the misuses of parking spaces and excess noise, as well as introduce increased fines for non-compliance.

The changes will introduce measures to help address overcrowding in strata schemes. This has been an issue which has made the news with respect to overcrowding in student accommodation in Sydney.

If you would like to know more about this change and others which are coming from November 30, the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 is available here.



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