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 now for two years, and have just been told by the owner’s 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, but 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, and then you might have something to present to your committee for an informed discussion. If you can’t find any documentation, and as these posts are technically common property under your by-laws, you’ll have to reinstate the posts. If they were removed without permission prior to your purchase, the onus falls onto you and your pre-purchase due dilligence.