New Year Resolution for your by-laws
New Year is that time where many of us resolve to improve our lives, be it through our health and fitness, work or personal goals.
These are goals which can require some effort to overhaul, but ultimately can greatly benefit us moving forward.
So on the topic of maximising your happiness, why not review of the by-laws in your strata community?
By-laws are the legally binding rules which all residents in strata schemes must adhere to.
Generally, they may only provide for the general use, enjoyment and administration, management and control of common property and body corporate assets.
By-laws are restricted in that they cannot:
For example, by-laws cannot stop a person with a disability from having a guide, hearing or assistance dog on the scheme, even if pets are forbidden on a property.
Some Australian states have model by-laws, which provide an excellent base of general rules for strata schemes to follow. The Queensland Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 has some generic by-laws which, if the Community Management Statement does not specifically include by-laws, must be adopted as by-laws for a property.
However every strata scheme differs and varies depending on the type of property and the residents living there. So while generic and model by-laws are a great starting point, often these models must be adopted to suit the specific needs of unique strata schemes.
A body corporate can modify its by-laws at any time by passing a motion to record a new Community Management Statement. The motion to agree to change the by-laws must include the modified by-laws, and be agreed to by special resolution at a general meeting.
It is important to consider when changing by-laws, what is being changed is the Community Management Statement.
When people think of body corporate, plenty might think of power-hungry committee members, or pedantic parking and noise by-laws. By-laws ought to be established as broad and common sense rules agreed to by owners to maximise the enjoyment of all residents in a strata community.
By-laws should not make residents in strata schemes feel as though they are under the control of a totalitarian regime.
Residents want to be free to enjoy their lives in strata without being concerned about overbearing and pedantic by-laws which if breached, might present an overly controlling Body Corporate with options to take out significant penalties on residents.
The by-laws are there for the benefit of a strata community, and do not exist so for the body corporate to exert their power onto residents! (For more information on dealing with breaches of by-laws, check out our stories for Queensland, NSW and Victoria.)
To successfully foster a community feeling in a strata scheme, the body corporate must seek to find the happy medium by creating effective, common sense by-laws which are applicable to their strata title scheme, and which can be appropriately enforced.
SSKB are expert community managers, and we can professionally advise and assist your body corporate on all matters relating to adjusting and enforcing by-laws. Our focus is to ensure every detail is covered, in a manner which benefits the best interests of your community.
If you need advice or wish to fine-tune your by-laws to start 2016 on the right foot, contact your SSKB Community Manager.