UNIT RENOVATIONS IN NSW – WHEN DO YOU NEED OWNERS CORPORATION CONSENT?

Contributed By: SMALL MYERS HUGHES LAWYERS on

Every lot has areas within them that are common property. Consequently, owners wanting to make changes or undertake renovations may require approval from the Owners Corporation and this will depend on the type of renovation required.

Renovations fall into three categories:

  • Cosmetic changes – Includes installing or replacing hooks, nails or screws for hanging paintings or other things on common property walls; installing or replacing handrails within your lot; painting; and filling minor holes and cracks in internal walls. Lot owners can do cosmetic work within their lot without seeking approval from the Owners Corporation;
  • Minor renovations – Includes renovating a kitchen; changing recessed light fittings; installing or replacing wood or other hard floors; and reconfiguring internal walls. Other items usually considered to be minor renovations are sustainability measures, such as clothes lines and air conditioners. Lot owners must get the approval of the Owners Corporation by general resolution (50% of those entitled to vote at a meeting) before any work can commence. Lot owners may need to provide details of the work including:
    • the work, such as any plans the duration and times of the work;
    • the people who will carry out the work, including their qualifications;
  • Renovations other than cosmetic work or minor renovations require the permission of the Owners Corporation by a special resolution. Major renovations need a higher level of approval because such work may seriously affect the common property. This applies to structural changes; waterproofing; work that changes the external appearance of your lot, such as an access ramp; and any work for which approval is required under other laws.

For any structural change to a lot, advance notice must be given by providing a written description of the proposed alteration to the Owners Corporation at least 14 days before the work is to start.

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