Essentials

Structural Alterations to your Strata lot

In the event that you wish to carry out a structural alteration at your unit, you need to provide information in accordance with sections 87 & 88 of the Strata Titles Amendment Act, along with any specific bylaws to your scheme that deal with alterations and appearance.  Sections 87 & 88 state that an owner shall not erect, alter or add to a structure on their lot unless every other owner has provided their written approval., A copy of these approvals must then be served to the strata company or the strata company, by resolution without dissent, has given its prior approval at an Annual General Meeting.

What is a structural alteration?

Anything that is going to permanently alter the structure of the building eg an amendment of a wall, or affixing a patio/ pergola to the lot etc.

When making an application to the strata company full details of the proposal must be provided in accordance with section 75 of the Regulations, and we have provided the below details of the proposal that are required.

Please keep in mind that this is not an easy process.  Most people engage a consultant to submit a complying application to avoid it being rejected a number of times, and at ESM we would recommend that you engage such a person to submit the below information on your behalf

Strata Plan

  • Plans and specifications for the structural alteration.  ESM recommend that an engineer’s drawing is obtained to ensure that the structural soundness of the building is not compromised
  • Plot ratio restrictions and open space requirements in relation to the parcel
  • The pro rata entitlements of the lots
  • The area of the structure, including the area of all existing and proposed structures to be taken into account for the purposes of calculating the plot ratio restrictions and open space requirements
  • Whether or not the carrying out of the proposal will breach the pro rata entitlements of the lot, and if it does, the percentage and area by which the pro rata entitlements of the lot is exceeded
  • Location and dimensions of the proposed structure in relation to any existing structure on the lot or to the boundaries of the lot
  • Any contravention of the Strata Company bylaws that is likely to occur as a result of that structure, and any proposed manner of dealing with that contravention
  • Any likely interruption or interference with any statutory easement, short team easement or restrictive covenant
  • Whether the structural alteration changes the boundary of the lot and whether the applicant has sought advice from a licensed surveyor about the effect of that structural alteration

Survey Strata Plan

  • Plans and specifications for the structural alteration.  ESM recommend that an engineer’s drawing is obtained to ensure that the structural soundness of the building is not compromised
  • Plot ratio restrictions and open space requirements in relation to the parcel
  • The pro rata entitlements of the lots
  • The area of the structure, including the area of all existing and proposed structures to be taken into account for the purposes of calculating the plot ratio restrictions and open space requirements
  • Whether or not the carrying out of the proposal will breach the pro rata entitlements of the lot, and if it does, the percentage and area by which the pro rata entitlements of the lot is exceeded
  • The Dimensions of the proposed structure
  • Any likely interruption or interference with any statutory easement, short team easement or restrictive covenant

I have completed my application. What happens next?

The Amended Strata Titles Act is clear in stating that voting MUST open within 35 days after receipt of the application.  For this reason, it is important to ensure that all required information is included in your application.  The decision of the Strata Company must be notified to the applicant within 77 days of receipt of the application

On what grounds can an owner vote AGAINST my proposal?

Owners can vote no to your proposal, but they need to have a good reason.  The Regulations state the following as required grounds for refusal

  1. a) That the carrying out of the proposal will breach the plot ratio restrictions or open space requirements for the lot; or
  2. b) The proposed structure is visible from the outside of the lot, and is not in keeping with the rest of the development, may affect the structural soundness of a building, or may interfere with a statutory easement, or
  3. c) That the carrying out of the proposal will contravene a specified by-law or specified by-laws of the strata company;
  4. d) That the carrying out of the proposal may interfere with a short form easement or restrictive covenant or any other easement or covenant that is shown on the scheme plan

If an applicant is dissatisfied with the outcome of an application, they should make an application to the State Administrative Tribunal.