My property has a sliding fly screen door with a diamond grill and I want to replace it… I have been told that it would not be “in keeping with the appearance” with the rest of the building which has the diamond grill… Where do I stand? – Jane, NSW
Q: My question concerns the interpretation of 2.12 “in keeping with the appearance”. My property has a sliding fly screen door with a diamond grill and I want to replace it with a non-grill sliding door using marine mesh. I have been told that it would not be “in keeping with the appearance” with the rest of the building which has the diamond grill.
The replacement door would be identical other than the lack of a diamond grill which is outdated and ugly. I have been told there is no plan to update these doors. They are almost 30 years old. Where do I stand? Thank you.
A: It’s recommended that you check in with your strata by-laws. You can request a copy through your committee’s secretary. There may be by-laws around building appearance and how much you are allowed to change the appearance of your lot.
It may also be worth checking your local council’s guides for building appearance. Some councils will not allow you to change the appearance of any outward facing structures such as doors and windows as it disrupts look of uniformity for the building.
If you find that your by-laws allow the change, it’s recommended that you havea renovation by-law drafted and registered. This will mean that it will then become your responsibility to pay for any repairs and maintenance of your new door.
Given that the doors are almost 30 years old, you may want to raise the issue as a motion during your next meeting and call a vote to replace all doors. You may want to address issues such as safety and building appearance. This, however, will obviously be a bigger undertaking and may require a special resolution requiring 75% of voters agreeing, as well as special levies being raised if there aren’t enough funds.
For more information on by-laws, you may wish to contact Kemps Petersons Legal who provide expert strata legal knowledge and also provide by-law drafting and renovation services.