An NSW Lot Owner is wondering whether strata funds can pay for foyer Christmas decorations. Leanne Habib, Premium Strata provides the following response.
Question: We have discussed putting up some foyer Christmas decorations. Some residents have voiced their concerns about strata funds paying for the cost of acquiring the seasonal decorations.
Out strata has an uninteresting entry foyer that would benefit from some visual enhancement. Hanging some artwork on the blank walls would make both residents and visitors entrance and exit far more appealing.
This time of year, a Christmas tree and some festive decorations would also enhance everyone’s enjoyment of our property, and so I proposed some foyer Christmas decorations.
Some residents have voiced their concerns about strata funds paying for the cost of acquiring artwork or Christmas decorations. What if the picture and/or decorations were provided by a member of the community at no cost, as a gesture of good will this time of year?
Answer: We recommend you obtain an empowering by-law permitting the owners corporation to purchase artwork and foyer Christmas decorations.
While an owners corporation may acquire “personal property” (which is what foyer Christmas decorations would be) because the acquisition is not for the maintenance and keeping of the common property in a state of good and serviceable repair but rather for the “enhancement” of the common property, unfortunately, in our view, a special resolution (by-law) would first be required.
So, while the decorations and artwork cannot be paid for this year in time for Christmas, we recommend you obtain an empowering by-law permitting the owners corporation to purchase artwork and foyer Christmas decorations, and then pass a resolution to acquire same.
Despite the festive intentions of those wishing to donate decorations, we do not recommend this course. The decorations may cause a trip, fire and electrical hazards or fall on or otherwise injure someone. Many insurance implications arise and as a matter of strata law you must not place anything on or affix anything to the common property without the proper authorisations, even if it is temporary or donated as goodwill. The cost is one point but the change to common property is the other.
This post appears in Strata News #222.
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These articles are not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.