Instant By-Laws Logo

Frequently Asked Questions

Our practical cheat sheet gives you a comprehensive and brief rundown on what the strata renovation process involves in NSW.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our concise, practical guide gives you a comprehensive and brief rundown on what the strata renovation process involves in NSW.

By-laws are rules that all residents living in your strata scheme (your building or complex) must follow. 

All strata schemes have their own unique by-laws. By-laws are created by the owners corporation (previously known as body corporate), which has a choice of using model by-laws, creating their own by-laws, or using a mix of both.

Instant By-Law is a smart tool that allows you to create your own, DIY by-law for your strata renovations that is fully compliant with all laws and regulations in New South Wales, Australia.

The by-law is delivered to your email instantly and is ready to be tabled at your next AGM.

The generated by-law was drafted, reviewed and vetted by NSW’s leading experts in strata law, including Alex Ilkin, published author of the authoritative textbooks on strata law, “Strata Legislation Handbook NSW” and “NSW Strata and Community Schemes Management and the Law”.

Instant By-Laws currently can be used solely for strata renovations in New South Wales, Australia.

Why Do I Need a By-Law for My Strata Renovation in NSW?

Before you start renovating your apartment, it’s crucial to understand that some changes require approval from your strata’s owners corporation. Here’s what you need to know:

Quick Guide:

  • Cosmetic Changes: Like painting or replacing fixtures, usually don’t need approval.
  • Minor Renovations: Such as kitchen renovations, need a general meeting’s ordinary resolution.
  • Major Works: Anything that changes the structure or external appearance needs a special resolution and a by-law.


So Why Require a By-Law for your Strata Renovation?

  • Legal Requirements: The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 may require it.
  • Ownership Rights: It ensures your right to the alterations and can add value to your property.
  • Maintenance Clarity: It helps define who is responsible for upkeep.


Benefits of a By-Law for your Strata Renovation:

  • For You: A by-law protects your renovations and investment.
  • For the Owners Corporation: It provides legal clarity and can prevent future disputes.


The Process:

  1. Determine the work category using our service.
  2. Prepare the necessary documentation.
  3. Seek the appropriate level of approval.


Need Help? Instant By-Laws simplifies this process by instantly preparing all necessary documents and guiding you through approval.

Remember: Skipping approval could lead to action from the owners corporation, possibly resulting in removal of the unauthorized works.

In New South Wales (NSW), Australia, strata renovations that commonly require a by-law include those that involve changes to the common property. A by-law is a rule made by the owners corporation to control and manage the use of common property and lots. Here are some typical renovations in strata schemes that would usually require a by-law:

  1. Structural Changes: Any renovations that alter the structural integrity of the building, including removing or adding walls, will require a by-law.

  2. Waterproofing: Changes that affect waterproofing, such as bathroom renovations that involve the removal and replacement of waterproof membranes.

  3. External Changes: Any alterations to the exterior of the building, such as adding a balcony, installing external shutters, or changing external wall finishes.

  4. Windows and Doors: Replacement of windows and doors, especially if it involves changes to the external appearance of the building.

  5. Flooring: Changing the flooring where it may affect noise insulation, such as replacing carpet with timber or tile flooring.

  6. Plumbing and Electrical: Major plumbing or electrical changes that go beyond simple repairs and involve common property.

  7. Air Conditioning: Installation of air conditioning systems, especially where external units are attached to the exterior of the building or where ducting affects other lots or common property.

  8. Attic and Garage Space Conversion: Converting unused attic or garage space into living areas.

  9. Installation of Solar Panels: Adding solar panels to the roof or other common property areas.

  10. Major Landscaping: Landscaping work that affects the external appearance or the structural integrity of common property areas.

We recommend you have a copy of the below documents when creating your DIY by-law with Instant By-Laws:

  • A copy of the strata plan – to determine which parts are common property and lot property;
  • Up to date common property title search – to ensure that you have all of the registered change of by-laws that apply to your scheme;
  • The schemes by-laws and change of by-laws – to ensure that the by-law that you intend on making may be made without contravening the schemes by-laws; and
  • Plans and specifications relating to the works and/or exclusive use areas – to clearly define the works and parts of the common property required to keep the works.

Check out our handy cheat-sheet on what the strata renovation process involves here.

Once you have received your by-law, consent form and motions, several steps ensue to ensure its effective implementation:

  1. Submission of Motions: You should provide the motions, including any annexures, to the managing agent. These will be included on the agenda for the next general meeting. The timeframe for this step depends on when you can provide the necessary documents.

  2. Arranging Meetings: If there’s no upcoming general meeting, or if you require quicker resolution of the by-law, contact your managing agent to schedule an earlier meeting. Note that you may need to bear the costs of this special meeting.

  3. Notice Period: The agenda, including your motions, is circulated to all lot owners, usually 21 days before the meeting. A minimum of 7 clear days’ notice is required for the meeting. This period excludes the day of setting the motion and the day of the meeting itself. If the notice is sent by post, it’s considered served on the 7th working day after posting.

  4. Consent Form: As the lot owner, you must sign any the consent form and submit it to the managing agent before the vote on the motions.

  5. Voting at the General Meeting: During the meeting, your motion and by-law will be presented and voted upon. It’s advisable for you to attend the meeting to support your motions and respond to any amendments or objections.

  6. Approval Criteria: Be aware that your motion will fail if more than 25% of the unit entitlements present and eligible to vote at the meeting oppose it. If the motions aren’t approved, you have the option to request the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to overturn the decision.

  7. Post-Approval Actions: Once the by-law is specially resolved and made, it needs to be registered at the Lands Department within 6 months. This registration should include a consolidated version of the scheme’s existing by-laws, incorporating the new change.

  8. Commencement of Works: Work related to the by-law can only begin after its registration.

While we understand the appeal of receiving a template by-law that you can populate and complete yourself, we strongly advise against it. Instant By-Laws ensures that each by-law is specifically tailored to your unique needs and circumstances, a critical factor for its effectiveness and legal validity. Any changes that you make to the By-Law can risk rendering it invalid and unregistrable.

Ready to Start Your Renovation Journey?

Create your Instant By-Law for a smooth, hassle-free start to your strata renovation journey.

Brought to you in collaboration with PBL Law Group, NSW’s leading strata law firm, our automated, DIY By-Laws are tailored to streamline the compliance process, alleviating the legal anxiety that comes with renovating strata lots.

Create Instant By-Laws For All Renovations

Need to speak to a NSW Strata Lawyer?

Our By-Laws and Strata Lawyers are published legal experts in Strata Law and have a combined 50+ years of Strata Law experience, so you’re in safe hands.

Access Your Strata Renovation Process Cheat Sheet

Learn how we helped 100 top brands gain success