An NSW Lot Owner has carried out renovations on their apartment without approval and they are wondering what steps to take now. Leanne Habib, Premium Strata provides the following response.
Question: We have recently renovated our kitchen without approval from the Owners Corporation. Will have to return the kitchen to the original condition or be fined?
We live in a strata townhouse complex in NSW.
I have just done some renovations to my kitchen including new cupboard doors and bench tops. I have recently found out that I should have sought our Owners Corporation’s permission to do the renovations.
I was under the impression that minor work like kitchen renovations could be done without approval.
I am looking for advice on what I should do now. Should I contact my strata manager and let them know work has been done?
What is the likelihood I’ll have to return it the kitchen to the original state or be fined for carrying out renovations without approval?
Answer: Transparency and pro-activeness is usually the best approach when something like renovations without approval occurs.
Kitchen renovations (with works involving waterproofing) are “minor renovations” under the new strata legislation which means you should have obtained an ordinary resolution at a general meeting of the owners corporation (or resolution of the strata committee if there is a by-law authorising the strata committee to approve minor renovations).
Transparency and pro-activeness is usually the best approach when something like renovations without approval occurs, so, yes, contact your strata manager, provide a full scope of works carried out and indicate that you will repair & maintain your works and indemnity the owners corporation in respect of them.
It is difficult to predict the likelihood of having to remove your renovations and it would be difficult to reinstate the common property because presumably you no longer have the original fixtures, fittings, tiles etc.
Enforcement of strata legislation varies from scheme to scheme and strata management agency to strata management agency but given your willingness to regularise your works, in our view it is unlikely you would be expected to remove your works.
This post appears in Strata News #217.
- NSW: Q&A Strata approval for renovations – What is the process and how do we start?
- NSW: Are We All Getting It Wrong? Unauthorised Works: Who Is Responsible For Repairing Them?
These articles are not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.