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  • #61120

    Our Strata Committee (in NSW, development of over 200 lots completed in 2000) knowingly approves actions prohibited by our bylaws. Particularly problematic is the Strata Committees’ repeated approval of the replacement of the original carpet by wooden or similar floors which then ‘transmit noise that is likely to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the owner or occupier of another lot’ (from bylaw).
    First question: What rights do lot owners who are disadvantaged by such Strata Committee decisions have and how can they seek redress?
    Second question: What risks are Committee members who approve such actions taking?

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  • #61144

    Can you post the complete bylaw

    Sometimes bylaws allow the OC discretion to approve things.

    Secondly are you adversely affected? Is floor noise disturbing you? If not you have little chance of getting the floorboards removed.



    I have sent you a personal message to change whatever it it in your system that means your posts appear twice. You clearly haven’t received it.  Please fix this as it’s bloody annoying to have to through the deletion process, which is not as simple as it sounds.


    I would think it might focus their attention to table a question at the next committee meeting asking why they are approving non compliant flooring, and if they intend to spend owners corporation money defending their decisions if and when other owners complain about noise transmission.

    Having said that, as Kaindub suggests, the key here isn’t the by-law but the level of noise transmission.


    Apologies for the delay in responding, I am new to this forum and assumed that I would receive notifications. Thanks to all that have reacted to my post.

    I attach our current by-laws related to flooring. The by-laws that are being infringed are 21(1) and Special By-law 1 Floor Coverings C (iii), C(iv) and C(v).

    I cannot find any by-laws providing the OC with the discretion to approve actions contradicting the by-laws.

    I am not personally concerned with a particular replacement. I am a strata committee member and am concerned that the committee is failing to require applicants seeking to replace carpet with wooden floors to comply with the by-laws. Some approved replacements have led to significant increases in noise transmission that interferes with other residents including, ironically, another Committee member (not me)!

    When I have pointed out that the Committee is approving non-compliant processes and floorings, the responses have included:

    • If we refuse the application it will inconvenience the applicant who is in a hurry / the flooring company has been booked.
    • The acoustic reports required by the by-laws are costly and will result in delays.
    • The Committee has approved applications like this in the past
    • If we make the process difficult, other owners will install floorings without seeking Committee approval and that will be worse. (I understand that about one third of floor replacements in our scheme are being done without approvals, and sometimes with the knowledge of Committee members.)

    I am then out-voted and the application approved. I do insist that my objection be recorded in the minutes.

    This is why I have asked the two questions: (I) What recourse does an aggrieved neighbour have? and (ii) what risks are the approving Committee members taking? The answers to either or both of these questions could provide an incentive for the Committee members to be more cautious and considerate in their decision-making. It might also help us redraft the relevant by-laws.

    Thanks for any comments and responses to the two questions.



    Your by-law demands that the lot owner doesn’t lay flooring that interferes with the peaceful enjoyment of the neighbouring lots.  That is the only criterion you need and you can’t expect anyone to guarantee that whetever flooring they put down is likely to comply.

    Your real problem is sections iii and iv of your by-law that specify compliance with Australian Building Standards.  As you will see from this article, ABS are woefully inadequate when it comes to apartment floors and your current by-law could be permitting the installation of noisy flooring that otherwise complies with building standards.

    I would re-write the by-laws to remove the reference to building standards and replace them with noise transmission figures as outlined by the Assciation of Australian Acoustic Consultants.

    And I would add a clause that said that flooring that failed to meet those standards would be subject to potential action at NCAT for its replacement or covering with carpet and underlay.

    Then it’s up to the floor-installing owner to ensure their floor more than meets those two criteria – the AAAC standards and the “peaceful enjoyment” limits.

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