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Owners Corporation By-laws – NSW

Owners Corporation By-laws – NSW

One of the primary functions of the Owners Corporation is to regulate the use of the lots and Common Property within the scheme, for the benefit of all lot owners. The Owners Corporation does this by establishing and enforcing Owners Corporation by-laws. It is important that all parties involved understand their by-laws and the procedures and applications involved in enforcing them.  

All strata schemes are required to have a set of by-laws that residents and visitors of the scheme must follow. The Owners Corporation determines the by-laws that best suit it, however there is a condition that by-laws must be reasonable. The by-laws may also be altered as required by a general meeting resolution.   

What are Owners Corporation by-laws? 

Common by-laws include rules about pets, smoking, short-term rental accommodation (like Airbnb), parking and noise, so it is important to understand how they affect you. 

It is important to understand the by-laws, and how this might impact the way you live. 

For example: 

  • Approval needed to keep a pet 
  • Where can you hang washing 
  • Parking restrictions 

By-laws can come into existence through any number of means, but most buildings probably still have by-laws based on the first set they were registered with. Those by-laws may (or may not) adequately cater for the needs of the building today. 

What do by-laws cover? 

By-laws regulate what can and cannot happen inside the community titles scheme, and cover a wide range of topics, for example: 

  • Changes to each lot’s external appearance 
  • Renovations of lots 
  • Rules for using the shared recreation areas
  • Body corporate supplying services to residents 
  • Speed limit on the shared driveways
  • Opening times of the shared facilities
  • What plants can be planted in courtyards 

What are Model by-laws? 

Model Owners Corporation by-laws are standard or ‘template’ rules created by the NSW Government.  

The model by-laws include rules for:   

  • Permitting pets  
  • Dealing with nuisance or hazardous smoking 
  • Acceptable resident noise levels 
  • Short-term stay accommodation 
  • Measures to prevent overcrowding 

Can I ask my Owners Corporation for a copy of the by-laws?   

Most people will receive a copy of the by-laws when they move into the scheme. If you do not have a copy, current owners and residents can ask the strata committee secretary or Owners Corporation Manager for a copy of the by-laws. 

How are by-laws enforced? 

By-laws must be enforced, and the responsibility for their enforcement lies with the Owners Corporation committee.  The by-laws of a strata scheme are binding upon Lot Owners and occupiers alike (see section 135 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015). If a Lot Owner or Occupier breaches one or more of a Strata scheme’s by-laws, the Owners Corporation can take steps to enforce those by-laws. 

Owners Corporation by-laws enforcement  

If the steps above are carried out and the by-law issue continues, then the matter should be handed over to the committee. The Owners Corporation can hold a general meeting and vote to issue you notice of breaking a by-law. 

The committee holds the formal by-law enforcement power which includes: 

Owners Corporation by-laws
Formal enforcement steps OC by-laws NSW

How do I change a by-law? 

If you wish to add, remove, or modify a by-law, you must successfully move a motion at a general meeting. 

Approval of a by-law change will depend on the proportion of votes cast. If the votes against are 25% or less, the change will pass. 

 At SSKB, we aim to educate our communities on the many different areas of strata living. If you’re looking for an Owners Corporation Manager that supports your community, click here to request a proposal today. 


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