If you’re living in a strata property, by-laws or building rules serve as a guide and to protect you and your neighbours. However, it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate between strata property by-law myths and facts.
To help you understand what you can and can’t do in a community living setting, we’ve compiled a list of the most common myths about strata property by-laws and building rules.
1. Myth: Smoking on balconies is banned
The truth about this particular strata property by-law myth is a little tricky to determine. People often ask questions about whether smoking is permitted on the balconies of strata apartments. Your balcony is your own property. Howvever, while everybody has a right to enjoy their property in their own way, smoke can drift into other windows and balconies.
In New South Wales, strata legislation that smoking may cause nuisance or hazard to another person. A model by-law is included in schedule 3 that regulates smoke drift, and explains that an owner or occupier of a lot must ensure that smoke does not drift to the common property or another lot. There are two options that can be adopted. Check your property’s by-laws for what option your owners corporation has chosen to adopt.
In Queensland and Victoria, there is no specific legislation that bans smoking on balconies. It is left to the body corporate or owner corporation to adopt a by-law or building rule relating to smoking at a general meeting, if supported by a special resolution.
2. Myth: Pets are not allowed in strata properties
We are happy to confirm that this particular strata property by-law myth is just that — a myth. However, those who have pets in community living settings will need to ensure they abide by related by-laws.
While your state strata laws may be relaxed regarding pet ownership, your by-laws or building rules may require you to make life easy for pet owners and non-pet owners alike, while ensuring common property is not damaged or compromised by pets.
In New South Wales, the new model by-laws have a default position that expressly permits the keeping of animals, depending on a few conditions. Check your by-laws to ascertain whether you need prior approval from the strata committee before you bring a pet into a strata property, or whether you simply need to notify them of your furry friend. In Queensland and Victoria, by-laws or building rules govern pet ownership in a body corporate property.
As a pet owner, you are accountable for your pet’s actions and noise. It would be best if you also took care to have your pets fully vaccinated and trained so that they don’t pose a threat to other residents in the strata property.