Special By-law Package

A Special By-law is a strata by-law which sets out the process for an individual lot owner seeking the approval from the owners corporation to carry out renovation works to their lot and common property.  This type of strata by-law is also known to exist under different names such as “Strata By-law, “Common Property Rights By-law”, Renovation By-law”, “Works By-law” and “Renovation Works By-law”.

Some common examples of renovations works that are approved under a Special By-law include:

  • Bathroom and laundry renovations including waterproofing;
  • Tiling works;
  • Works to balconies;
  • Works involving structural changes to common property e.g. the removal of an internal load bearing wall, removal and replacement of tiling, reallocation of plumbing, etc;
  • The installation of solar panels and skylights in a roof;
  • Works involving altering the external appearance of an owner’s lot e.g. the installation of awnings and pergolas;
  • Works which add to, alter or affect common property.

Typically, a Special By-law contains the following conditions a lot owner must comply with:

Before commencement of the Works 

Before commencement of the Major Works, the lot owner must:

  • provide a complete proposal concerning the Works including but not limited to plans, drawings and specifications of the proposed works, the manufacturer’s or supplier’s brochure regarding same, a diagram depicting the location of or proposed installation points of all parts of the works, approval from local council (if required), structural engineer’s report and certification concerning the impact of the works on the structural integrity of the building (e.g. for the removal of a load bearing wall);
  • obtain written consent to the date for the commencement of the Works from the owners corporation/strata committee; and
  • cause insurances to be effected and maintained for the duration of the Works e.g. contractors all risks insurance, insurance under the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) and workers compensation, as required

Notice of the Works 

  • Normally the lot owner must give notice of the commencement of the works to the owners corporation and each owner in the building.

During Construction

  • An owners corporation would ordinarily expect a lot owner to use duly licensed employees, contractors or agents to conduct the works and ensure the works are conducted in a proper and workmanlike manner and comply with the current Building Code of Australia and the Australian Standards.  These are some of the many conditions that are required.

After Construction

  • After the works have been completed the lot owner is required to notify the owners corporation that the works have been completed and notify the owners corporation that all damage, if any, to lot and common property caused by the works and not permitted by the strata by-law has been rectified. There are many other conditions which must be included.

Ongoing obligations

  • The Special By-law normally passes on the maintenance and repair of the works to the lot owner and also contains conditions regarding exclusive use, indemnity and costs.

How Can We Help?

Unlike some other providers who may claim that their strata by-laws are not legal services, or are unable to provide legal advice on the drafting of a Special By-law, Pobi Lawyers has a proven track record of drafting and advising on Special By-laws for lot owners and owners corporations.  As part of our Special By-law Package, we provide you with the Motion, Special By-law, Explanatory Note to Motion, Consent to By-law form (for common property rights by-law) and short e-mail of advice on the next steps for a competitive fixed fee.

If you need a Special By-law quote or are after some preliminary legal advice on your drafting, we are here to help.

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