Living in a strata unit means you share common property with others, and as a result, strata management issues can arise. Some activities are more restricted in a strata scheme, such as parking and renovating.

If you’re considering buying or moving into a strata scheme, it’s important to understand the differences between strata living and living in a freestanding house. Understanding may help reduce the likelihood of disputes later on.

Each strata scheme has its own by-laws, which are a set of rules that govern such things as the behaviour of residents and the use of common property. The by-laws apply to all owners and residents of a strata scheme.

We have listed a few of the most common questions asked about strata schemes.

Who is responsible for pruning trees on the property?

If the trees are common property, it is the owner’s corporation’s responsibility. If the trees are part of your lot – you are responsible, – as the owner.

Do I need the owners corporation’s permission to get a dog or cat?

Check your by-laws first. Some schemes allow pets with the permission of the owner’s corporation – the executive committee can give this approval. Other schemes do not allow pets at all.

What do I do if I have a neighbour that constantly makes a lot of noise?

Firstly, try and resolve the problem yourself by talking with that person. If that doesn’t work, you have two choices. You can ask the owners corporation to issue them with a Notice to Comply then seek a fine if they keep breaching. Alternatively, you can apply for mediation through Fair Trading to have a mediator assist you to discuss the issue with them.

Can I do my own repairs to common property?

Only if you have the permission of the owners corporation.  If common property needs repair or maintenance, the owners’ corporation should undertake that work, not the individual owner.

What can I do if my neighbour’s girlfriend is parking in the visitors’ parking every night. Is she really a visitor?

Speak with the owners corporation. A matter such as this will have to be decided by them.

If you’re having strata issues that are not getting resolved speak with our lawyers at The Quinn Group. Call us on 02 9223 9166 to make an appointment or make an online enquiry on our website.