Do I need approval from strata to build a deck in my backyard? Would this be considered a major or minor renovation under new strata laws? – Shekhar, NSW

Q: Do I need approval from strata to build a deck in my backyard? I own one of the villas in NSW in a 3 lot scheme. The deck is more of an extension to my existing patio and will be timber. My backyard is not visible from outside the building.

I understand that I own the airspace of my lot and cannot place any items or erect a structure that is visible from outside the building and not in keeping with the appearance of the rest of the building, however as this is in my backyard, I am not sure whether an approval is required or not.

If approval is required from OC, would this be considered a major or minor renovation under new strata laws?

A: It is always recommended that before undertaking any renovation works, it is best to seek permission from your strata committee first. This should help make your renovation works move along smoothly, and gaining owners corporation approval via a special resolution at a meeting makes the renovation works official and accounted for.

It is recommended that you also have a renovation by-law drafted and registered. This will protect you and your committee when it comes to your renovation works. It will define your responsibilities for repairs and maintenance for the deck, as well as detail such things as the contractor you will be using, their insurance cover, the period of renovation works, etc.

Given that building a deck would most likely constitute as a structural change, this will most likely count as a major renovation. It would be best to get in touch with your strata manager, or a strata committee member such as the secretary for more information as every strata scheme operates slightly differently. Read our article on the do’s and don’ts for strata renovations in NSW for more information.