NSW legislation update: By-laws

Issue #4 of 6: By-laws
By-laws play a vital role in enhancing community living. They set out requirements to ensure owners and tenants are aware of their obligations.

The owners corporation must ensure they review their by-laws in the first 12 months of the new legislation commencing i.e. by 30 November 2017.

Your by-laws may need to be modified or repealed if it is contrary to requirements of the new legislation. This may be a complex task if your by-laws have been created under different legislations over many years, and may involve both common property and individual rights that need to be carefully examined. Your strata manager will be able to advise you on the appropriate steps to take.

The new Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 will come into effect from 30 November 2016.

Here are some of the key legislation changes to note:

  • By-law changes must be lodged with Land & Property Information within 6 months of the general meeting resolution passing the by-law (was previously 2 years).
  • By-laws may be amended to require owners of an assistance animal to produce evidence as per the Disability Discrimination Act.
  • A by-law can be registered to limit the number of occupants per bedroom.
  • Penalties for breaches of by-laws are payable to the owners corporation, not the NSW government.
  • Penalties have been doubled to a maximum of $1,100 for each offence at first instance, and $5,500 for breaches of an occupancy by-law.
  • The Tribunal has the power to issue a fine for a repeat offence of a by-law occurring within 12 months up to a maximum of $2,200 for each offence ($11,000 for breaches of an occupancy by-law).

When it comes to parking, although it doesn’t require a by-law, an owners corporation can enter into an agreement with the local council to manage common property parking e.g. placing of signs and issuing fines. There are also provisions for the owners corporation to arrange the removal or towing of motor vehicles.

Click here for previous communications on the NSW legislation changes.