Strata Laws Necessary for Comfort When Living at Close Quarters

Living under a strata title arrangement is a very different environment from living in a free-standing dwelling occupying an entire block of land. There is the convenience of having a manager to look after the common areas such as swimming pools, recreation areas, stairwells, driveways and gardens. However, there is also a requirement to abide by the state legislation covering strata companies and also the by-laws and rules established by the strata company.

These laws and rules are necessary to ensure that everyone who owns or occupies a dwelling in a strata company is treated fairly and equally. They also ensure that the financial affairs of the strata company are kept in order and that everyone knows what is expected of them in terms of behaviour and permissions.

All strata companies and their members must abide by state law, but they are able to set their own rules at the first meeting. These rules apply to every owner and tenant, and they must be provided to them within seven days of occupancy. As circumstances change, a strata company may wish to change or abolish altogether the original rules and establish new ones. This can be done but only with the agreement of 75% of the members.

Strata Company By-Laws and Rules Cover Common Issues

When people live together in large groups, the issues that arise are usually the same for every strata company. It is not surprising then, that most by-laws and rules set by strata companies are about issues like behaviour, noise, littering, damaging or obstructing common property, appearance of the units, children, pets, vehicles, storage of dangerous goods and general garbage disposal. It seems that no matter where or how humans live together, these cause the most friction.

These rules are usually supplied to every owner or tenant, and often displayed in the relevant common areas so there is no misunderstanding about what is expected. Of course, there is always someone who wants to challenge the status quo, and there are dispute resolution processes in most strata companies to prevent disputes from escalating beyond the control of the strata company.

Mediation the Only Solution if Dispute is with the Strata Company

Taking a dispute to the next strata company meeting is the process if the people involved have not been able to reach an amicable agreement on their own. This step must be a mutual decision between both parties, so that any resolution suggested by the strata company is accepted as final. If the dispute is with the strata company itself, then mediation is arranged to resolve it. In this process, an independent moderator assists the opposing parties to come to an agreement.

The key to ensuring that everyone living in strata arrangements understands what is expected of them is to provide clear, unambiguous information and instructions to every person, immediately they occupy the premises.