This article about WA strata bylaws has been provided by our WA Strata helper – Strata Martyr.
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WA Strata Bylaws
By-Laws are the tools given to us to create a better world we live in.
A certain amount of freedom exists in a single titled residential home. Sound restraints are lessened due to distance and a single tier means no complaints from above or below.
Strata is about shared space; Imagine the same 10 owners use a single path to get to their apartment, unit, townhouse or villa. They share that path and the responsibility of repair of that path.
Some one has to organise the repairs and the raise funds. How do you raise the funds and what portions do you pay and when? These questions may create a difference of opinion for the owners. Other complications may and do arise – an owner, tenant or visitor may damage the path and this may be witnessed by an owner.
Legislation in your state has considered the complexities of managing shared resources and created By-laws enforceable by law. These WA Strata ByLaws are impartial and based on requirements for fair and due process in carrying out set obligations. Areas covered include OHS, insurance, procedures, meetings, funding, fines, by-law enforcement, pet ownership, gym and pool use, parking, noise smoking, laundry etc.
In a somewhat uncertain world, the By-Laws present you with a second tier of laws that assist to achieve consideration of others while sharing property and lawful responsibility for that property. If you find yourself in trouble, the by-laws are your friend. They are open to interpretation if you are determined to argue the point and the Strata Company can ask a lawyer to serve a formal breach if matters escalate.
A person who caused the breach of by-laws i.e. excessive noise, is served a warning notice from the strata manager and, failing a correction in behaviour, a formal legal breach letter. Some strata complexes have a by-law stating that the administrative charge and legal costs can be attributable to the owner of the Lot, just like a levy. If the tenant is the offender, the warning and formal breach letters goes to the owner of the Lot, as it is their responsibility to ensure that any tenants or their visitors comply with the by-laws.
This sounds drastic and some defaulters can become hostile, but there is a lawful requirement on the Strata Company to enforce the by-laws if a breach is brought to their attention (in writing please).
Call me SS Strata, but the “Foe” is the defaulter. If left uncontrolled, their behaviour will be seen as acceptable by others. Turn a blind eye to someone hanging clothes on the balcony, and 6 months later you may have an out of control situation with all manner of items out on balconies, along with the daily laundry.
Changing WA Strata Bylaws in Your Strata
What if a by-law just doesn’t work at your complex and all owners would like to change it…… Change it!………. Your legislation will have a procedure to repeal, amend or add additional by-laws.
This amazing amount of control is afforded owners willing to work together. Not many organisations can make by-laws that are enforceable in court. “Here comes the Judge”. Obviously all this power could be used for evil and not for the good of all. Wrong! Any amended or added by-laws cannot conflict with the meaning of the Act. With that in mind any owner/would be lawyer who decided to write their own by-laws should, at the very least, send them to a lawyer to make sure:
- they don’t conflict with any of the other by-laws (nullify each other)
- they are not ambiguous
- they do not clash with the Act.
Creating New Bylaws
Creating By-Laws requires certain voting/approval requirements under the West Australian Strata Titles Act. This is to ensure due notification and explanation is given and to allow owners to make an informed decision when voting.
By-Laws that appear unfair under the circumstances of your complex can be contested by an owner for adjudication at the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) that deals with Strata. If found unfair, in can be voided/repealed/amended. The By-Laws are there to preserve and maintain the integrity of your Strata socially and structurally, as under the law your strata complex has a infinite lifespan unlike the owners.
- WA: Q&A Strata Council Roles and Responsibilities – Correspondence
- WA: Q&A – Required to have Landlord Insurance for a Strata Property?
This post appears in Strata News #132
Note: this general information is an opinion only and suitable specialists in these areas should be sought for clarification and assistance on all points.
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