We’ve all heard horror stories about fickle complaints being lodged against neighbours in strata buildings. Many people have experienced this first-hand. While a lot of these seem extremely pedantic, if the strata by-laws are clear, then they must be followed regardless of how silly they may seem.
What are strata by-laws?
The by-laws are a set of rules for living in a strata community. Because every strata property is different and operated by its Owners Corporation, the by-laws differ in every building. Most of them are reasonably standard, such as restrictions on noise late at night or how to manage waste disposal. Basically, the rules are in place to ensure that all owners and tenants can live in harmony while the strata scheme remains financially sound.
However, the by-laws document can often be extremely long and all-encompassing, so this is something you should check before you commit to buying a strata property. Again, most by-laws are perfectly sensible, but some would seem strange to those who haven’t lived in strata buildings before.
Let’s take a look at some of the lesser-known by-laws that might surprise you.
No washing on balconies
This by-law is actually extremely common in the strata world, however it’s often unknown prior to living in this environment. Most strata apartments have a balcony attached, and while it is usually quite small, there is enough room to put a clothes airer. And why wouldn’t you? It’s better than running a dryer or cranking the heater to dry them inside.
Importantly, most strata by-laws prevent the hanging of washing on balconies. The reasons can vary – it might be unsightly, or there could be a risk of clothes blowing onto other balconies. Whatever the reason, this is one you’ll need to get used to.
Most strata by-laws allow you to renovate only very minimal parts of your property. Essentially, anything inside your walls is fine, however, there are often restrictions on whether you can change the flooring – particularly if you want floorboards. This doesn’t mean you can’t update your space, you just need to go through the proper approval process.
Many strata by-laws restrict the times and even the days that you’re allowed to move in. In some cases, you’ll be forced to move in on a weekday. Although it’s not always convenient, you’ll need to factor this in. For buildings that have lifts, these may require booking and even a refundable deposit to cover any damage.
This isn’t the case for every building, but many strata by-laws ban pets under all circumstances (except perhaps for assistance animals). If you have a pet now or would like one in the future, be sure to check your by-laws before buying because the rules around pets can be extremely prohibitive in some cases.
Need help with strata management?
With more rules comes more policing of those rules. This means more complaints and more niggling issues to deal with. If your strata manager or committee is struggling to meet the demands of the role, More Than Strata has a way forward. We offer a dedicated strata management service, giving owners and tenants an easy point of contact to address any issues and concerns. Covering more than just dealing with complaints, we handle all your strata management needs. Contact our friendly team today and find out how we can build a better community for all in your strata environment.