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  • #70900

      Daughter’s tenant in a strata townhouse development is running Family Daycare from the garage. Access is via a steep shared driveway.

      She does not have approval from the owner or the strata committee. She claims to have $20m in public liability insurance.

      Does the owner of the property or the Strata Committee on behalf of the other owners need to be advised or consulted?

      The issues of qualifications etc are another issue. The economics are good – more than covering the rent!!

      • This topic was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by .
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    • #70905

        There are basically two ways you can approach this, top down or bottom up. Top down, does she have council permission and does the day care centre comply with the regulations for your state (including all building codes).

        Bottom up, are the kids in danger or at risk, is it disrupting the community, does she have necessary permission from her landlord (apparently not) or the owners corporation (ditto)?

        The issue seems simple – either the facility is legal and safe or not.  But there’s the complication that she may be providing a valuable service to local mothers.

        But the landlord should be aware that they are responsible for the actions of their tenants while they are in the scheme and that has implications with which they may not be comfortable.

        Bottom line, a garage is not an appropriate place for a commercial child care centre and the operator is probably in breach of her lease.

        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.
        • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by .

          Two Different Routes

          1. Family Day Care: Ask for eveidence that they are an approved provider. If they are caring for less than 7 children may be a registered Family Day Care centre (puzzled as to how a garage would have been approved).
            Under the Education and Care Services National Regulations, an approved provider must ensure that policies and procedures are in place for dealing with complaints (Regulation 168) and take reasonable steps to ensure those policies and procedures are followed (Regulation 170). In this case the name and telephone number of the person to whom complaints can be made must be clearly displayed at the service (Regulation 173, Section 172) and in the case of a family day care service, at each residence, venue and office of the family day care service (Regulation 173A, Section 172) .

            2. If not Family Day Care- would require Planning Consent for Change of Use – so an application to Council with the Owners Corporation consent would be required. Make an inquiry with your local council.


            At the very least, your daughter’s tenant should have evidence of a “working with children” certification.

            Check your by-laws.  If your strata plan adopted the NSW model by-laws, the following two by-laws would apply.

            16 Change in use or occupation of lot to be notified

            1. (1)  An occupier of a lot must notify the owners corporation if the occupier changes the existing use of the lot.
            2. (2)  Without limiting clause (1), the following changes of use must be notified:
              1. (a)  a change that may affect the insurance premiums for the strata scheme (for example, if the change of use results in a hazardous activity being carried out on the lot, or results in the lot being used for commercial or industrial purposes rather than residential purposes),
              2. (b)  a change to the use of a lot for short-term or holiday letting.
            3. (3)  The notice must be given in writing at least 21 days before the change occurs or a lease or sublease commences.

            17 Compliance with planning and other requirements

            1. (1)  The owner or occupier of a lot must ensure that the lot is not used for any purpose that is prohibited by law.
            2. (2)  The owner or occupier of a lot must ensure that the lot is not occupied by more persons than are allowed by law to occupy the lot.

              I would make the point that there are garages and garages.  The garage if weather proof, and good flooring and “safe” could possibly meet appropriate standards.


                Update on this subject.
                The tenants finally admitted they did not have any of the required approvals/qualifications and have been invited close the business or vacate the premises.
                They offered to “indemnify” my daughter from any liability through an insurance policy.
                A potential lawyer fest IMHO.
                Thanks for your advice.

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