One of the owners has put down unauthorised hard flooring throughout his unit in breach of our by-laws. Is our by-laws enforceable? How may the NCAT rule? – Katrina, NSW

We have a flooring by-law that allows owners to put hard flooring in the main part of their unit but bedrooms must remain carpeted. This was done to keep up with modern required looks but still protect peaceful enjoyment of other owners. Our building is 50 years old and was designed at the time for carpet. We have had an Acoustic Engineer do a series of test on the substructure of the building to test the acoustic characteristics of the building and he recommended that the bedrooms remain carpeted to prevent noise transference at night. We have just had an owner put down unauthorised hard flooring throughout his unit including the bedrooms. This is a breach of our flooring by-law as well against strata law as no approval was received by the OC and it falls under Minor Renovation. We feel this will end up in NCAT. Is our by-law enforceable and fair?

– Katrina, NSW

Approvals are necessary from the owners corporation before making any kind of renovations and if approved, these renovations should also be in line with the property by-laws. Your property by-laws on the matter seem reasonable. However, it is difficult to pre-empt what NCAT may rule.

Here is an article on by-laws that you may find interesting.