Renovating a strata apartment
Television programs like The Block on the Nine Network and House Rules on Channel 7 have certainly popularised home renovations. It can be a very attractive proposition to upgrade your place – particularly if you want to maximise the sale potential of the property or would like to modernise an older building.
Strata-titled properties come with their own set of requirements that must be taken into consideration before you can create that, for example, dream open plan kitchen.
Depending on what you want to do, you may need to seek written consent in advance from your Owners Corporation or your local council.
When don’t you need permission?
In general, in your apartment, you are free to paint or wallpaper the walls, carpet the floors, add blinds and curtains and change internal fittings such as lighting or taps without seeking consent.
While this work may not require permission, at Netstrata, we would advise that as a courtesy it’s always a good idea to let your neighbours know of your intentions. It can be unpleasant if other owners come home to discover a paint smell permeating through the corridors without warning.
You are also responsible for the tradespeople that you have on your property. The standard noise regulations will apply. If the task involves excess noise then it may affect the serenity of your neighbours. A courtesy note placed on a notice board or in letterboxes can help smooth over these issues.
When should you seek permission?
If the planned renovation involves alteration to common areas, then you should provide your Owners Corporation with a detailed written description of your intentions at least 14 days in advance of the intended start date. Depending on the approval process for your scheme, it may need to be discussed at a strata meeting and written consent issued if approved.
In the event that the Owners Corporation denies you permission, you are entitled to present your case before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
We would also advise you to involve the Owners Corporation in discussions around communal services such as water, gas, electricity, cable television and Internet access. To carry out the work safely, the tradespeople may need to suspend these services temporarily. If cutting these services will also disrupt your neighbours, you should plan to carry out the work at a time that least inconveniences your neighbours and it’s always best to give everyone plenty of notice.
Extensive renovations that affect the structural integrity of the building may require, in addition to the Owners Corporation, the involvement of your local council. If in doubt, it’s best to consult with the council’s planning department and allow significant time for the DA approval process.
While it may seem obvious, it’s imperative that all renovations comply with relevant building regulations. At Netstrata, we would advise apartment owners to consult with accredited building experts and employ the services of licensed tradespeople to complete the work.
If you have any questions regarding the renovation of your strata property, please contact your Strata Manager at Netstrata.