Each strata style property will attract its own set of bylaws. These bylaws can vary, usually based on the size and style of the property.
By this we mean if you live in one half of a duplex your requirements will be different from those of a multi-story apartment building.
If you live in a strata style property you should know what your rights are and also, what is expected of you. If you don’t know, then it is necessary to acquaint yourself with the fine print as soon as possible.
Disputes can and do arise from time to time in this style of accommodation. The important thing is to overcome them quickly to ensure the delicate balance with householders is maintained and to avoid unwarranted stress.
Educate and Increase Knowledge
Often, issues can arise because an occupant is not fully conversant with the bylaws in effect for a particular property.
You can advise and educate by way of signage, newsletters, or direct contact. Signage in obvious places such as car parks advising car park rules helps not only occupants but also that their visitors understand and comply.
Shared or common areas such as barbeque and entertainment areas, swimming pools, saunas and gymnasiums will also attract their own set of rules. Appropriate signage outlining these rules leaves very little room for I didn’t know claims.
Newsletters need to be brief and to the point. Don’t get too wordy with legal jargon. Direct contact can be useful in certain circumstances.
Be Flexible. This goes for both occupant and the governing body. If a request is made that is outside the realm of the bylaw but does not infringe on another’s rights or break the law, it should be assessed fully before being dismissed out of hand simply because it is outside the bylaws.
When All Else Fails
For some issues the only remedy is to take more forceful action.
WA Strata Management properties that are based in Western Australia are managed by the WA Strata Titles Act (STA).
Provision has been made in this act to allow bylaws to be enforced. Penalties up to a maximum of $500 for non-compliance can be charged and at the very worst end of the scale, legal proceedings can be entered into via the State Administrative Tribunal (STA).
These steps have been placed to help resolve the most difficult issues and should only be taken to resolve the most problematic matters.