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  • #72425
    3dpotato
    Flatchatter

      Hi, My owners corporation (NSW) has put into effect a by law which puts a blanket ban on installing split system air conditoners.

      I don’t understand this as all units have a private and relatively enclosed balcony on which an external unit could be installed without it being visible from the street or another unit. The exterior and interior units could also be installed without being on or adjacent to any walls that are share with another unit.

      Is the strata scheme allowed to implement such a by law which seems unreasonable from my perspective, and is there any way for me to challenge this and to still get air con installed.

    Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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    • #72426
      3dpotato
      Flatchatter
      Chat-starter

        This is the by law

        Special By-law – Air-conditioning

        1. An owner or occupier of a lot in Strata Plan shall not be permitted, and the Strata Committee and Owners Corporation shall not approve, the installation of a split system air-conditioner in a lot. An owner or occupier is prohibited from:

        (a) installing a condensing unit or units on the balcony or terrace of the lot and affixed to the common property of that balcony or terrace, or any other place that is:

        a. visible from the ground level outside the lot; or

        b. visible from another lot in the strata plan; or

        c. otherwise changes the external appearance of a lot or the common property;

        and

        (b) drilling of holes in the common property walls on the boundaries of the lot for the installation of ducting between the condensing unit and the internal air dispersal unit;

        and

        (c) the affixing of an internal air dispersal unit to any common property wall on the boundary of the lot; and

        (d) all ancillary work incidental thereto.

        • This reply was modified 1 month ago by .
        #72444
        kaindub
        Flatchatter

          That to me seems to be a harsh and unjust by law

          The act makes it possible to repeal such by laws, though it going to cost you money

          I say its harsh and unjust, because these days new apartments are sold with air con, and its not unreasonable to expect owners of older apartments to retro fit an aircon.

          Your by law may have stood some chance if it said only with the approval of the owners, but a blanket ban is unacceptable.

          Seems strange to make such a bylaw, because it devalues each lot by not having air con, an appliance most people expect in an apartment, or at leas the right to install one.

          #72452
          Jimmy-T
          Keymaster

            That to me seems to be a harsh and unjust by law

            We have a similar by-law in our environment award winning block because it was designed to be naturally cooled by a flow-through of air.  However, it doesn’t work in all the apartments, it’s hard to control where it does, and there’s this thing called Global Warming that everyone is talking about.

            But here’s the thing, because it was designed not to have air-con, the electricity supply isn’t up to providing the necessary power.  The majority of owners would love to have air-con but aren’t keen to pony up with the couple of million bucks for a new substation.

            I wonder if the OP’s scheme is in a similar situation, and all the nuts and bolts stuff is just another way of saying “no way”. If it does have similar limitations, the by-law is neither unreasonable nor oppressive.

            The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
            #72502
            TrulEConcerned
            Flatchatter

              Jimmy’s point on the building being possibly designed in a way or limited by some variable so as to discourage or negate the installation and use of a/c units may well be valid. At this stage we don’t know.

              I suggest that 3dpotato ask the s/committee or manager “how did the by law come about” and “what’s  its purpose”?

              Don’t be too specific in the questions. And email them, don’t ask in person.

              If the committee’s answers do not rely on design or electrical capacity available in the building, then I’m with Kaindub: the by law is harsh and oppressive and worth a challenge.

              #72501
              Just Asking
              Flatchatter

                Hi 3dpotato,

                Suggest you research the the reason for the implementation of this by-law. Hopefully an adequate explanation will be in the notice of meeting for the meeting at which it was approved. As raised by Jimmy, there may be physical or engineering constraints.

                It specifies split systems only? Ducted systems also have outdoor units, and these days box units jammed in windows are very unfashionable. Again, the “why” for this by-law may be helpful, as simple aesthetics is not consistent with only banning split systems.

                One would think that the right to enjoy and use one’s property would include, as well as having a pet, the ability to heat and cool the premises.

                #72554
                Jimmy-T
                Keymaster

                  As to the punctilious detail on what is also not allowed – all the stuff about drilling holes and visibility etc etc – I wonder if this goes back to what is now known as the Jo Cooper case which overturned a blanket ban on pets in her apartment block.

                  What’s the connection? It was the blanket nature of the ban that fell foul of the law, not the idea that any specific dog might be refused entry.  Thus a blanket ban on aircon is also expressed in details that would render it impossible to install a system.

                  The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
                  #72566
                  Sujenna
                  Flatchatter

                    Your By-laws don’t say anything about wall window aircon? I just put one in an investment property. My tenants think it is wonderful! I don’t think they are unfashionable (just asking), so why not place one in an unobtrusive window? Perhaps then, your strata will back down on their attitude toward you installing a split system?

                    #72579
                    David Ng
                    Flatchatter

                      But here’s the thing, because it was designed not to have air-con, the electricity supply isn’t up to providing the necessary power.

                      Sounds like the developer did a cheap and nasty job with fantasy claims about passive  cooling. And was allowed to get away with a deficient power supply.

                      All good if it works but since it’s not, are those whose residence missed out on the design benefits (which they surely paid for) doomed to suffer for ever?

                      Probably time to get a copy of the resident’s roll and make contact with your fellow residents and see who’s suffering in the heat.  Then, let the fun begin. Hopefully you’ll be able to cool down again in the near future.

                       

                       

                      #72593
                      Jimmy-T
                      Keymaster

                        The building’s design won an international environmental award, but yes, the developer did it all on the cheap and the roof won’t even support the solar panels we were supposed to have.  It doesn’t matter how many residents get up in arms – if the transformer won’t support the power required the air-con can’t be permitted.

                        Strata law is right at the bottom of all other laws and can and will be superseded by any law that contradicts it.

                        The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
                        #72594
                        Quirky
                        Flatchatter

                          It looks like this may be an invalid by-law, when viewed from the “Cooper” case standpoint. But there are other factors that may be relevant, such as the building’s power supply, or its design and any relevant development application conditions. The easiest and cheapest way of challenging this, may be to assemble all the facts, and then arrange for a legal opinion, from an experienced strata lawyer. If there are other owners in the building interested in getting A/C then share the cost. Then send the opinion to the strata committee, together with an application to install the A/C, assuming the opinion favours you.

                          #72596
                          Jimmy-T
                          Keymaster

                            The easiest and cheapest way of challenging this, may be to assemble all the facts, and then arrange for a legal opinion, from an experienced strata lawyer.

                            Or ask the chair, strata manager or building manager if there is a valid reason why this by-law was passed in the first place.  You may find it was one influential person’s problem … or there are valid reasons.

                            You don’t have to go to the barricades on every issue.

                            As I’ve said before, my block has a similar ban and the majority of owners would rescind the by-law in a heartbeat if there weren’t issues with the power supply.

                            The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
                            #72664
                            Old Codger
                            Flatchatter

                              Power supply is a serious issue. Aside from air conditioning, renovations introduce additional loads. e.g. replacing a gas cooktop with an induction cooktop has an impact, as it can impose up to 7kW of incremental demand. Ditto with replacing gas HWS or gas heating with electric services. Greenies will want to do this in their deluded belief that removing household gas will save the planet.

                              Our 12 townhouse complex’s main switchboard burnt down on a hot day after a 100A Ausgrid service fuse exploded. Switchboard replacement cost $15k, with a twist. The 3x100A underground supply was reduced to 3x80A due to new Ausgrid rules and further reduced to 3x63A because of Ausgrid’s demand for additional fuses to protect their new fuses. We suspect recent extensive renovations in one townhouse that shared a phase with others caused the fire, although air conditioning upgrades in other homes may have contributed. We were quoted $250k by Ausgrid to provide additional power. Despite the shared power supply, each townhouse had its own title. 4 owners elected to pay $5k each for feeds from nearby poles. Ugly, but necessary. Even then, Ausgrid said a $250k bill would go to the first owner who exceeded the available supply to the street. It’s a ticking time bomb, as renovations will continue and the increase in dual income households means electricity consumption is more concentrated, with washing machines and dryers used more during the evening peak. WFH helps.

                              #72671
                              Jimmy-T
                              Keymaster

                                Greenies will want to do this in their deluded belief that removing household gas will save the planet.

                                Interesting observations undermined by needless denialism.  BTW, burning gas in your home is not great for your health, regardless of the planet’s.

                                The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
                                #72717
                                Jimmy-T
                                Keymaster

                                  Expecting a horror heatwave we bought a portable air conditioner for about $600.  Added to an extended window blocker (we have sliding doors) it works well but it’s as noisy as a Stalinist tractor.

                                  Then for one of our offices we bought a Click evaporative air cooler which works on the same principle as the Coolgardie Safe but with a fan.  Don’t expect a blast of Antarctic chill, but a gentle cooling breeze is all you need.

                                  One of the assistants in Bunnings advised me not to buy it because the fan wasn’t very strong.  Even so, Bunnings seems to have sold out and I’m not surprised. It only cost about $140 and does what we want, relatively quietly.

                                  The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
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