Do I need to create a by-law for my renovations? – Rosalie, NSW

I am renovating my bathroom in my apartment and have submitted my application to Strata with Builders licence number and insurance. I have been told I have to have my solicitor draw up a by-law which will cost $1000.00 or more. Other people in my block have put in new bathrooms without any permission, They had no By-law drawn up. Why me?

– Rosalie, NSW

Depending on what type of renovations you are planning to undertake, a specific by-law may be required to suit your strata property. Here is an article on the topic that may help you to determine what type of renovation you are planning and what steps you may need to take.

Any renovations that involve major changes to the common property will need committee approval and will be the responsibility of the owners corporation to maintain. In case of bathroom renovations particularly, plumbing that is shared by other apartments in the building may be affected. You should check with your committee to understand what aspects of the renovation may affect common property and how.

Your committee should also be able to help you get clarity on who pays for maintenance and repairs in the future. Sometimes, they may allow you to make certain renovations but may ask you to take care of future fixes and repairs.

Other owners may have made renovations specific to their private property. So, it may not be possible to compare why they have had no special requirements with a by-law. You may check with your committee to understand the difference and your specific requirements.

If your by-laws don’t cover these points, you may work with your committee to have them included and your by-laws amended in your next AGM. Your committee is required to register the amended by-laws with the NSW Office of the Registrar General within six months of drafting them.

Here is a guide on NSW strata living with respect to by-laws that may interest you.