I recently bought a unit and started some renovations that I later found out fell under minor and I should have applied for approval first. I put the application in and am now concerned that they are not going to approve it. Any advice on how I can respond to strata? – Sarah, NSW
Q: I recently bought a unit and due to a lack of awareness of strata requirements, I started some renovations that I later found out fell under minor and I should have applied for approval first. Anyway a few neighbours got upset and I stopped everything once I realised and spoke to the strata manager.
He said he would have a renovations by-law drafted that would then require approval at a special GM and that my application would be reviewed at the same time. The work is to replace kitchen splashback and floor tiles and cabinets, and replace carpet with floating laminate flooring.
I put the application in and am now concerned that they are not going to approve it as they want contractors to have minimum $10 million public liability insurance but some only have 5 million.
Is this reasonable in the context of the work I’m doing as it is minor and no structural changes? Can they deny my application on these grounds if everyone is licensed? I mean there’s a reason why 5 million is offered so surely I have some rights here? Any advice on how I can respond to strata?
A: This decision is up to the owners corporation when it comes time to vote to allow or deny the minor renovations. They are allowed to deny the application if the approval for contractors to have a minimum of $10 million in public liability insurance has already gone through.
On the positive side, you may have earned some good graces by stopping renovations and undertaking the proper due processes to have renovations done. It’s worth having an open conversation with your owners corporation – especially those who are eligible to vote, to try and convince them to approve your request, giving reasons as stated in your question.