Ten top tips for renovating strata title units
Renovating can be time consuming and trying at the best of times, but strata title renovating is even more difficult.
Renovating your inner city apartment that is under strata title will be more difficult due to the consent required from the Owners Corporation, neighbouring lot considerations and the need to take into account the use of common areas through the renovation process.
Unlike single dwellings that require just approval from local council, strata title units will first require consent from a governing body called the Owners Corporation. For our top ten tips in renovating strata title units, keep reading...
1. You will be required to give your neighbours 14 days notice. See The Strata Act - Section 62 to ensure you are compiling with strata act.
2. Renovations to common wall and floors/ceilings will require the approval of the Owners Corporation. Your plans will need to be submitted to the Owners Corp before they are submitted to council for approval.
3. It is strongly suggested that you discuss the renovations with apartment owners that are directly connected to yours. You may obtain the verbal agreement of your neighbours, but opinion can often change once they are asked to consider the renovation at the Owners Corp meeting. Many people find it difficult to understand how the renovations will or will not affect them so they oppose out of ignorance. So ensure your neighbours are best informed about common problems that could arise. Ensure they are clear about these points:
- Expected duration of renovations
- Type of works and if it will affect common walls or floors
- Notice expected and permitted renovation hours from your local council and Owners Corp
- Estimated period of use of common areas and type of use.
4. If a common wall or floor/ceiling fails, it is the responsibility of the Owner corporation to have it fixed. If a non-common item fails, it is up to the individual apartment owner to have the item fixed.
5. Owner Corp will have restrictions on development, so it is advisable to liase with your management agent during the renovation design process to ensure you are doing all you can to prepare plans that will be acceptable by the Owner Corp. You will need written consents from all lots directly affected.
6. You will need indemnity insurance for the duration of the renovations. Removing a wall or changes to plumbing will require Owner Corp approval. There is an application fee that will be charged to the Owners corp to review your renovation plans.
7. Repair work of existing to not common items are allowed, but check with your managing agent first to be sure. There is a 21 day approval process.
8. Any renovations must also comply with regular building codes outlined in the Building Code of Australia. Council approval is the last approval you will need to apply for and Owners Corp approval will not guarantee council approval. Be careful, as DA submissions on old buildings can often make council aware of other problems that may be of concern. Council may require that these concerns be fixed before they will approve your application. Any approved changes to your lot will be noted on your title and can be carried out by any owner after you sell.
9. After renovations have occurred, if damages are incurred by any neighbours that are caused by the renovations, you will be required to pay for and organise all repairs.
10. You will require a Strata Plan to be submitted with all applications, ensuring the plan has a current strata plan number. You will also need to discuss rubbish disposal with the Owners Corp.
On a last note, if in doubt refer to your managing agent, and Strata title Act.