The following question is from an NSW strata lot owner enquiring about alterations to common property in NSW. Thank you to Leanne Habib, Premium Strata for providing a response.
Question: This site recently replied to an SA question about Common Property Alterations. Is the response also applicable for alterations to common property in NSW?
I recently read the SA article about common property alterations and a single lot owner’s vote overruling a majority decision. When reading the post, I wondered whether the reply is also applicable when it comes to alterations to common property here in NSW.
The SA post can be found here – SA: Q&A Common Property Alterations – Can a single owner veto a decision?
Answer: The balance of decision making power by an owners corporation is by simple majority.
Changes to common property in NSW and Types of Resolutions
The NSW position regarding changes to common property are as follows:
- Repair & maintenance of the common property = majority vote by ordinary resolution of the Owners Corporation
- Enhancement of the common property, additions to, altering or erecting structures upon the common property = special resolution of the Owners Corporation
- Structural changes, works which affect the external appearance of a lot or which detrimentally affects the safety of the building or any works which involve waterproofing = a by-law is required such by-law to be passed by special resolution of the Owners Corporation (and then registered on the folio of the common property)
In NSW, unless a unanimous or special resolution is expressly required, then the matter may be resolved by simple majority ie an ordinary resolution.
In NSW few unanimous resolutions remain.
An unanimous resolution is one which is passed and against which no vote is cast (unfinancial owners may vote).
Matters for unanimous resolution include:
- distribution of surplus funds
- amending or repealing an Order from NCAT
- various building insurance provisions
- waiver of capital work fund requirement for a 2 lot scheme.
A special resolution (a motion passed and against which no more than 25% of the value of votes are cast against – unfinancial owners cannot vote) is required as per the above and, among other things:
- any “dealings” with the common property eg transfer, leasing, licencing, subdivision, consolidation, exclusive use of common property etc,
- an Owners Corporation absolving itself of the requirement to repair & maintain the common property
- vacation of a strata committee member(s) or officer(s) office
- any and all by-laws and any repeals and amendments thereof
So, the balance of decision making power by an owners corporation is by simple majority (again, unfinancial owners cannot vote).
This post appears in Strata News #199
- NSW: Q&A Exclusive use of common property. No access! Really…..?
- NSW: Q&A Does the Owners Corporation Have a Duty to Define Common Property?
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.