It can be curtains doing the wrong thing in a strata scheme

Residents in strata-titled apartments or townhouses need to be aware of what they can and can’t do with their unit with even the wrong choice of curtains causing costly consequences, says Archers the Strata Professionals.

As a tenant or owner within a strata property, it’s important to be aware of the things you can and can’t do in your strata scheme,” says Archers the Strata Professionals partner Grant Mifsud.

“Strata schemes have by-laws which regulate common property to help maintain peace and harmony within the community and also to ensure residents can live safely and in an orderly fashion protecting the value of their properties.”

Mr Mifsud said as an owner or tenant in a strata property it’s essential to be familiar with the scheme’s by-laws.

“But, unfortunately, there are many instances of residents taking actions that are in breach of the by-laws,” he said.

“We had a report of a unit owner concreting their courtyard then having to jack hammer it all up as they didn’t have approval for the works.

“The resident previously lived in a house with only council regulations applying and was not aware he could not make this type of alteration to his courtyard without first seeking approval as stipulated within the scheme by-laws.

“Even changing the curtains can be an issue that causes a breach in a strata scheme.

“There can be by-laws that specify light backed curtains should only be installed in particular windows.

“Similarly, making unauthorised changes to blinds can be a problem, while the same situation can arise with window tinting.”

Mr Mifsud said the shared swimming pools and spas can also be a source of strata scheme tensions.

“Some residents treat the pool like it’s their own private resort when in fact it is a shared area which can have strict rules such as ensuring children using the pool are supervised by an adult, for both safety and harmony,” he said.

“There can also be problems with people using the pool and making a mess, with potential costs involved with the clean-up.”

Mr Mifsud said other common sources of strata-scheme disputes can involve pets, parking, parties, passive smoking, hanging unsightly laundry from the balcony as well as the behaviour of visitors.

“Tenants and owners should brief their visitors about the accepted behaviour inside the strata property, particularly when holding any gatherings and be mindful of the other occupant’s peaceful enjoyment of their home,” he said.

“To maintain a harmonious, friendly and comfortable atmosphere in a strata property, it’s always good to familiarise yourself with your strata scheme by-laws and play within the rules.”

Source: The Real Estate Conversation October 3rd 2018