Forum: The trouble with renos okayed on the nod

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concpte of telling a lie

There are a few quibbles this week about changes to common property and what happens if they are made without proper by-laws.

Now, in NSW at least, if you need a by-law to get work done, it has to say who takes responsibility for the upkeep on the reno-affected work. 

If it doesn’t, then responsibility reverts to the owners corp – all the other owners in the scheme – so it’s in everyone’s interest to get the renovators to sign up for repairs and maintenance, ad infinitum.

But then you get a smaller scheme where owners will agree that if they all skip the by-law nonsense, it will save everyone time, money and hassle and, hey, if it all goes pear-shaped, they’ll be long gone and the next owner – or owners corp – can wear it.

This mutual back-scratching could cost future owners a lot of time, hassle, goodwill and money if something goes wrong and they have to sort out the mess some slacker has left behind.

But how can you ensure that the next purchaser knows exactly what they are getting into?

In Victoria, a vendor’s property sales statement must, by law, declare if any illegal or noncompliant work has been conducted on the property.  NSW doesn’t even have that.

Wouldn’t it be great if vendor declarations in every state recognised that a lot of us live in strata and said something like: “To the best of your knowledge, has any work ever been done on your property without official approval and the requisite by laws – including but not limited to bathroom and flooring renovations.”

Any vendor who answers “no” puts themselves in the firing line if their bodgy, unapproved reno floods the block.

Put that on your next wish-list email to your MP.  You can read the post that inflated that thought bubble HERE.

Elsewhere on the Forum

The shade cloth protecting the rooftop walkway to the lift from rain has blown away. The strata committee says it’s not their problem because it’s not on the original plan. That’s HERE.

Comparing like for like, Victoria’s strata system is better than NSW’s. Really? That’s HERE.

After four years of peace and quiet, following a long and expensive battle to deal with a noisy family renting above me in a flat with a noisy floor, another rumbustious family has moved in. How do I short-cut the complaint process?  That’s HERE.

How do you deal with an easy-going strata committee that doesn’t announce meetings and doesn’t issue minutes or let owners see records. That’s HERE.

Should strata schemes be run like businesses with no room for emotions, just facts and figures?  That’s HERE.

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