Q&A: Enforcing By-laws by Issuing Notices to Comply

Question: Can one member of Body Corporate Committee send their own breach of bylaw letter to an owner without contacting other members of the Body Corporate to discuss?

What is the process and procedures for the Body Corporate Committee when contacting an owner regarding a breach of the bylaws? Can one member of Body Corporate Committee send their own letter to a lot owner without contacting other members of the Body Corporate to discuss?

Answer: One member of the NSW Strata Committee has no power to unilaterally issue a notice to comply with a by-law.

One member of the Strata Committee has no power to permit him/her to unilaterally issue such a letter. In the context above, only the NSW Strata Committee by a duly convened meeting / paper resolution could resolve to issue a notice to comply with a by-law.

If you are inquiring about issuance of a Notice to Comply with a by-law, the procedure is clearly set out in Section 146 of the Strata Schemes Management Act, 2015 (NSW) – note subsection (3) which prohibits the issuance of a notice to comply in the absence of an Owners Corporation / Strata Committee resolution.

146 Notice by owners corporation to owner or occupier

Notice to Comply

  1. An owners corporation for a strata scheme may give a notice, in a form approved by the Secretary, to the owner or occupier of a lot in the scheme requiring the owner or occupier to comply with a specified by-law if the owners corporation is satisfied that the owner or occupier has contravened that by-law.
  2. The notice must contain a copy of the specified by-law.
  3. A notice must not be given unless a resolution approving the issue of the notice, or the issue of notices for the type of contravention concerned, has first been passed by the owners corporation at a general meeting or by the strata committee of the owners corporation.
  4. Subsection (3) does not apply to the giving of a notice by a strata managing agent if that function has been delegated to the strata managing agent in accordance with this Act.

Although, if you have a strata managing agent with delegated authority to issue a notice to comply, then your strata managing agent can issue the Notice without any resolution of the strata committee (or Owners Corporation) – see subsection (4) above.