Strata reform: new model by-laws

In the last of our series on strata reform, we outline some of the key changes to the model by-laws which are to be adopted by all new schemes registered on or after 30 November 2016.

The model by-laws for residential strata schemes are in Schedule 3 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016. They will apply to any strata scheme if adopted by the owners corporation or as lodged with any new strata plan.

The new model by-laws reflect the changing demographics and reality of our society that more and more people are living in units and are affected by the same issues.  We expect that the introduction of some of the by-laws are likely to please owner-occupiers and tenants alike, including the following:

  • Changes to common property: an owner (or person authorised by an owner) may install within their lot and without the consent of the owners corporation safety devices, including structures or devices to prevent harm to children (model by-law 2);
  • Behaviour of owners, occupiers and invitees: all must act appropriately in common areas, including being adequately dressed (!) (model by-law 7);
  • Children playing on common property: children may play on any area of common property designated for that purpose but may only use designated swimming areas while under adult supervision (model by-law 8);
  • Smoke penetration: a choice between two options exists for adoption here, either:
    • Option A: no smoking on common property and no penetration of smoke caused by smoking tobacco or any other substance is to penetrate to the common property or any other lot;
    • Option B: a lot owner (or occupier) may smoke in a designated area in the common property or with the written approval of the owners corporation and again no penetration to other lots (model by-law 9); and
  • Hanging out of washing: a lot owner (or occupier) may hang washing on designated lines for a reasonable period and may also hang it on their own lot except over the balcony railings (model by-law 14).

The new laws (except for the building defect regime) are coming into force on 30 November. If you would like further information or require assistance with navigating these changes, please get in touch.