Question:Can an existing Special ByLaw be amended without the legal cost of being re-written by a strata lawyer?
Can an existing Special ByLaw be amended without the legal cost of being re-written by a strata lawyer.
This bylaw outlines permission and the terms and conditions for owners to install ducted split air conditioning systems, roof ventilation, satellite dishes, security screens and pergola roofs. We would like this to be amended to also include Solar Panels.
Answer: If a bylaw is not worded correctly, or it’s not enforceable, then it’s like having no bylaw.
Anything is possible, there’s nothing to say that you need to get a lawyer to draft the bylaw. However, my very strong recommendation is that you engage a strata lawyer. I’m a big believer that these bylaws might appear to be straightforward, but they are worded in a way that lawyers are qualified to word.
Every bylaw has set out terms and conditions and definitions, and I will always define what works mean. It will mean, e.g. satellite, solar panel, etc. It might appear to be as simple as just amending that definition to include the solar panel work, but it could be other parts in that bylaw, that all connect that also need to be amended.
My strong recommendation is to have a lawyer amend the bylaw as required. Don’t try to copy bylaws for other works, and don’t try to amend bylaws.
The short answer is there’s no legal requirement where you must have a lawyer to draft the bylaw but it is highly highly recommended to have a lawyer draft the bylaw because the whole purpose of the bylaw is for you to rely on it as an Owners Corporation. If a bylaw is not worded correctly, or it’s not enforceable, then it’s like having no bylaw. You want to be in a position where you can enforce the bylaw if needed. That’s the whole purpose of having one.
ByLaw Review – Checking for harsh, unreasonable or unfair bylaws
This process gives you an opportunity to see if there were any other issues with the original bylaw. It’s a good opportunity now to amend it, especially because NSW Strata Legislation had changes back in 2015 addressing where bylaws can be harsh and unfair. The bylaw might be harsh and unfair, so it’s a good opportunity to have that reviewed.
For the full question and our detailed response, visit the original publication at Look Up Strata.
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