Each strata scheme has its own by-laws, these are the set of rules that owners and tenants must follow.  By-laws cover the behaviour of residents and the use of common property. They also cover issues such as whether pets are allowed on the scheme, how smoking is regulated, parking and noise levels.

The by-laws can vary significantly from scheme to scheme and it is important to understand which by-laws apply to your scheme. You must get a copy of the current bylaws and see how the pet clause is worded and how this can be approved.

Owners corporations can determine the by-laws that suit the preferred lifestyle of their scheme. If you are looking to register some new bylaw, ie: exclusion of owner’s corporation responsibility for items like doors/windows etc, be sure to get advice on the correct wording to ensure this can be enforced and does not contravene any other legislation or act. By-laws cannot restrict children, and cannot restrict the keeping of an assistance animal. A copy of your scheme’s by-laws is kept on the strata roll and is available from either the secretary of the owner’s corporation or from your managing agent. This should also be provided to agents managing the tenanted properties as they form part of the residential tenancy agreement.

Since the new laws were introduced at the end of Nov 16 – all strata schemes must review their by-laws by 30 November 2017. Schemes may wish to use the new model by-laws as a guide when reviewing their own by-laws, alternatively, they may choose to adopt their current one. This must be on a general meeting agenda and minuted accordingly by the due date.