The administration and management of a strata scheme is the responsibility of the owners’ corporation. Each state and territory has slightly different rules and regulations for dealing with common property, including the power to make and enforce bylaws governing the occupants of the subdivision. Each jurisdiction has a model set of bylaws contained in the schedule of the relevant legislation and although the legislation varies in detail, the owners’ corporation always has a duty to maintain and repair fixtures and fittings. The term ‘repair’ generally includes the replacement of common property.
Outside Queensland and Western Australia, there is no duty on individuals or the owners’ corporation to maintain individual units. However, there is an obligation on the owners’ corporation not to permit anything to be done that would interfere with the support or shelter of another unit.
It is clearly important to provide the potential purchaser of a subdivision a copy of the owners’ corporation rules to ensure they are aware of any restrictions imposed on residents living in the subdivision.
Rules enforced by an owners’ corporation are:
- Use of common property and lots
- A member must ensure that the occupier of a member’s lot does not:
- Use the common property or permit the common property to be used in such a manner as to unreasonably interfere with or prevent its use by other members or occupants of lots or their families or visitors;
- Park or leave a vehicle or permit a vehicle to be parked or left on the common property so as to obstruct a driveway or entrance to a lot or in any place other than in a parking area specified for such purpose by the owners’ corporation;
- Use or permit a lot affected by the owners’ corporation to be used for any purpose which may be illegal or injurious to the reputation of the development or may cause a nuisance or hazard to any other member or occupier of any lot or the families or visitors of any such member or occupier;
- Make or permit to be made any undue noise in or about the common property or any lot affected by the owners’ corporation;
- Make or permit to be made noise from music or machinery, which may be heard outside the owners’ lot between the hours of midnight and 8.00am;
- Keep any animal on the common property after being given notice by the owners’ corporation to remove the animal after the owners’ corporation has resolved that the animal is causing a nuisance.