You’ve been saving up, and you’ve decided renovating or improving your apartment sounds like a good idea. You know what you want to do, how much it will cost you, and approximately how long it will take before you will be living in recently renovated luxury. But before you start, do you need to check with your owners corporation about making improvements to your lot?
Lot owners in an owners corporation are entitled to renovate or refurbish the interior of their home. A lot owner must notify the owners corporation if the renovations require a building or planning permit.
But while there is no specific legislation in the Owners Corporation Act, it is possible individual building rules (which are based on model rules from the Act), may cover internal improvements. Some buildings do not cover the issue at all, while other buildings have rules in place which state any lot improvements must be passed by the committee before commencement.
SSKB would encourage owners considering making improvements to contact their owners corporation manager if they are unsure about the need to apply for approval. Even if work does require approval, such as for simple things like internal painting, the owners corporation and building manager may still need to be notified in order to arrange access for tradespeople.
SSKB would recommend you check the specific rules in your building before you undertake any improvements or renovations. It could save you time in the long run, by ensuring you do not begin improvements without the necessary permission of the owners corporation. Improvements such as putting in a hard floor (timber or tiling) is often subject to the rules of the owners corporation – hard floors are restricted in some properties to prevent disputes surrounding the noise created. Always check the rules in your owners corporation for any mention of the need to seek permission for improvements or renovations.
You should also consider notifying the committee and your fellow residents anyway, especially to let them know of potential noise during improvements, and the ongoing presence of tradespeople on the property. Communicating with fellow lot owners ensures everyone is kept up to date and informed of what is going on, which ultimately helps to promote a strong and happy sense of community and cooperation in your owners corporation.