My strata committee is demanding I re-install posts that are common property but were removed before I purchased the lot. What can I do? – Bernie, NSW

Q: Some years prior to the purchase of my lot, two posts were removed from my balcony for aesthetic reasons. I’ve owned my property for two years now , and have just been told by the owners corporation to re-install the posts, because the previous owner did not have this removal approved. I’ve had the balcony assessed and it’s structurally sound. What are my options with the strata committee?

A: You’ll need to find out when the posts were removed and if there’s any documentation saying it conformed to the by-laws in place at the time. If there is, you might have something to present to your committee for an informed discussion. If you can’t find any documentation,  you’ll have to reinstate the posts as they are technically common property under your by-laws. If they were removed without permission prior to your purchase, the onus falls onto you and your pre-purchase due diligence.

For more information, you can read our article on the dos and don’ts of strata renovations.