This article is about making WA strata bylaws – do you need new bylaws at your apartment building?
Table of Contents:
- QUESTION: Are dogs allowed in a strata apartment complex pool area? Should we have a strata bylaw about this?
- QUESTION: Has anyone set up a template list of standard by-laws? These could be a great starting point for conducting a bylaw review to reflect the latest requirements under the Act in Western Australia?
- QUESTION: In a small strata with 4 units do all the owners have to agree on by-laws being created? If 3 out of 4 agree, is that sufficient?
Question: Are dogs allowed in a strata apartment complex pool area? Should we have a strata bylaw about this?
Answer: The pool area is provided as an amenity for people.
There have been a number of by-laws in the Eastern states that have already come under fire about animals in Apartment buildings.
The pool area is provided as an amenity for people.
Let us pose this example (assistance animals and guide dogs excluded) what if everybody brought their animal to the pool area, it surely bad enough that there is the odd neighbourly disagreement between owners.
There would be obvious reasons to exclude dogs:
- People who don’t like dogs.
- People who don’t want dear Rover to come over and lick their face or sniff them whilst sunbathing.
- The dogs urinating and defecating in the pool area, for an animal, the world is their toilet.
- Dogs swimming in the pool.
- Disruption to peaceful enjoyment.
- What if the dogs in the pool area go all in and start fighting?
- The safety aspect of small children getting knocked over.
Of course, you may say that this is no different from other owners doing the same once they have had a few sherbets.
Think of the disruption to everyone’s right to peaceful enjoyment?
This situation could have easily been avoided by not permitting any animals in the pool area in the first place.
A strata company is at liberty to register a By-law or make House Rules about the exclusion of dogs from the pool area.
This post appears in Strata News #465.
Question: Has anyone set up a template list of standard by-laws? These could be a great starting point for conducting a bylaw review to reflect the latest requirements under the Act in Western Australia?
Answer: In regards to obtaining a set of bylaw templates, these are within the Strata Titles ACT WA.
Thanks for your enquiry regarding by-law templates and the new legislation in WA. I hope I can offer some assistance in this area to help you navigate the new legislation in regards to by-law changes and locating the information you require.
As you are already aware, the standard set of by-laws that apply to all WA strata properties have been amended under the new Strata Titles Act WA reforms, which came into effect in May last year. These are outlined within the Strata Titles Act WA itself, of which a copy can be found here: Western Australian Legislation – Strata Titles Act 1985, kindly published by the WA Govt Dept of Justice in a downloadable pdf or word document format. Alternatively, a google search brings them up straight away also. [Admin: Try our Strata Legislation page under Western Australia.]
The by-laws that used to apply to all WA strata’s prior to the reforms were known as schedule 1 and schedule 2 by-laws. Any amendments to these were lodged on the strata plan through Landgate for each scheme and were able to be obtained by requesting through Landgate for a copy, or via the strata manager of the scheme. As you are aware these have changed and are now referred to as Conduct and Governance by-laws under the new legislation. These new by-laws now apply and are required to be consolidated with any existing by-laws on a scheme that were added or repealed on the older version. Information on this is below on the link I have provided which explains this process. Consolidation is achieved through registration with Landgate.
Guide to consolidating by-laws for strata titles schemes in Western Australia by Landgate is a handy booklet put together by Landgate which clarifies the changes, how they affect each strata and how the new by-laws being introduced into WA strata schemes are to be consolidated with any existing set a strata may have.
In regards to obtaining a set of bylaw templates, these are (as mentioned above) within the Strata Titles ACT WA. The full set of by-laws are laid out one by one for clarity. You simply need to go to pages 257 – 270 of the Act under headings “Schedule 1 – Governance by-laws ” and “Schedule 2 – Conduct by-laws” as copied below from the table of contents front section of the Strata Titles ACT WA. This is the template or more precisely, a ‘copy’ of the by-laws, that a scheme is to use since the reforms. It’s handy that you can download a word doc version that assists in consolidating with any other by-laws a scheme may have.
If your strata did not simply adopt the previous set of by-laws before the reforms, with add in’s or repeals, these need to be consolidated with the new set of by-laws. Legal assistance is advised when undertaking this task, as consolidated by-laws should be reviewed for checking that they are in line with the new reforms to meet the legislation requirements. Your strata manager should be able to assist with this matter. Alternatively, if a scheme had relied on the previous version of by-laws under the Strata Titles Act WA before the reforms without any changes, then this new version is simply the default set the strata scheme now rely on going forward which replaces the older set.
- Duties of proprietor, occupiers etc. 212
- Power of proprietor to decorate etc. 213
- Power of strata company regarding submeters 213
- Constitution of council 214
- Election of council 216
- Chairman, secretary and treasurer of council 218
- Chairman, secretary and treasurer of strata company 218
- Meetings of council 219
- Powers and duties of secretary of strata company 219
- Powers and duties of treasurer of strata company 220
- General meetings of strata company 220
- Proceedings at general meetings 221
- Restriction on moving motion or nominating candidate 223
- Votes of proprietors 223
- Common seal 224
- Vehicles 225
- Obstruction of common property 225
- Damage to lawns etc. on common property 225
- Behaviour of proprietors and occupiers 225
- Children playing upon common property in building 225
- Depositing rubbish etc. on common property 226
- Drying of laundry items 226
- Storage of inflammable liquids etc. 226
- Moving furniture etc. on or through common property 226
- Floor coverings 227
- Garbage disposal 227
- Additional duties of proprietors, occupiers etc. 227
- Notice of alteration to lot 228
- Appearance of lot 228
This post appears in Strata News #451.
Question: In a small strata with 4 units do all the owners have to agree on by-laws being created? If 3 out of 4 agree, is that sufficient?
Answer: It really depends on if it is a governance by-law or a conduct by-law you are wanting to create.
It really depends on if it is a governance by-law or a conduct by-law you are wanting to create.
To create a governance by-law a resolution without dissent is required and for conduct by-laws it is a special resolution. This applies for amending or repealing by-laws also.
Other than in two lot schemes a resolution without dissent requires that 14 days’ notice of the terms of the proposed resolution is given to each member of the strata company before voting on the resolution opens; and no vote attached to a lot in the scheme is cast against the resolution.
For a 3, 4 or 5 lot scheme a special resolution requires that 14 days’ notice of the terms of the proposed resolution is given to each member of the strata company before voting on the resolution opens. To pass the votes in favour of the resolution need to equal not less than 3 for a four lot scheme such as yours and not less than 50 % of the total aggregate of the unit entitlements of the lots in the scheme.
It is important to know what constitutes a governance by-law and what constitutes a conduct by-law.
Conduct by-laws are any by-law other than a governance by-law that deal with
- the conduct or an owner or occupier of a lot
- the management, control, use and enjoyment of common property
- landscaping requirements
- maintenance of water, sewerage, drainage, gas, electricity, telephone and other services
- common property insurances
- safety and security
- dispute resolution
Governance by-laws deal with:
- the governance of the scheme; or
- the subdivision or development of the land
- subdivided by the scheme (other than a matter of landscaping); or
- exclusive use of common property in the scheme;
In a 3,4 or 5 lot scheme Governance by-laws can include by-laws that exempt the Strata Company from a designated function such as procedures of a general meeting or raising levies.
This post appears in Strata News #391.
Have a question about WA strata bylaws or something to add or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
- WA: Q&A Strata Council Roles and Responsibilities – Lot Owner Correspondence
- WA: How Will the New Strata Titles Legislation Affect our Council of Owners?
Looking for strata information concerning your state? For state-specific strata information, try here.
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