Everything you need to know about Sydney’s strata by-laws

Sydney suburbs

Everything you need to know about Sydney’s strata by-laws

By Daniel Clark | 02 September 2019

Each strata scheme needs its by-laws. The rules are set to be followed by the owners, tenants, and visitors as well. The main purpose of the by-laws is to control the behaviour of the parties involved in the usage of the common property.

It can cover issues such as pets allowed on the scheme or not, smoking, parking, and noise levels.

The by-laws vary from scheme to scheme depending on the requirements of rules for the project and types of projects. Owners corporations determine the by-laws which suit the strata scheme. The by-laws should not be oppressive or harsh. The by-laws are made to restrict dealings in a lot which include short-term letting, it cannot restrict the children or assistance animals.

A copy of the scheme’s by-laws is kept on strata roll which is available from the secretary of owner’s corporation or the managing agent.

The by-laws which apply to a strata scheme depend on the date when the plan was registered. Sydney's strata by-laws usually include the following:


Model by-laws 

The model by-laws provides options and tools to control whether pets are allowed and terms of having them around. The by-laws can ban pets on the property completely and only assistance animals would be allowed. The owners need to provide notice before the pet starts living with them on the property.

Assistance animals 

There should be by-laws that prevent people from using trained and certified animal even if the by-laws have banned it. 

Smoking and nuisance

The owners corporation can pass by-law which can ban smoking on the common property and the occupier to ensure that second-hand smoke does not enter the property. They can also pass by-law to designate specific smoking areas within the common property. 

By-laws for common property 

The common property by-laws are made if the owner of a lot requests personal use of the property for renovation or other types of use.

An owners corporation needs all owner permission in written consent to make such by-laws. 

Noise and short-term letting 

There are certain by-laws made which need to be followed regarding the noise and short-term letting of the property. Noise is an issue when it comes to common property.


This is another important by-law which needs to be made in order to avoid overcrowding of the common property which can affect the tenants. 

Compliance to law

The tenants, owners, and occupiers are legally obliged to comply with the by-laws. 

Dealing with breaches

If any of the parties involved in the by-law breaches it, the strata committee would first contact the resident and ask to stop whatever it is.

If it still does not stop, the owner's corporation serves notice to make them comply with it.

Once the notice is served, the resident needs to conduct to cease immediately. The notice needs to be given only after a majority vote in the owner’s meeting. The owners can also delegate their responsibility to strata managing agent or committee for issuing notices.

Fine and penalty

If there is a breach of the by-laws and notice has been served validly, a fine of up to $1,100 can be given. If the person has been fined for the same in the past 12 months, it would get doubled. In such cases, there is no need to serve notice.

Change in by-laws

To change the by-laws owners corporation must decide it by special resolution at a general meeting. It requires no more than 25 per cent votes to go against it. It needs to be notified to the land registry services.

For any by-law to be effective, it needs to be by strata schemes management act or other laws related to it.

About the author

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, and has since been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia, including across the legal, mortgages, real estate and wealth industries. In addition, Emma has launched several additional sub-brands and events, driven by a passion to deliver quality and timely content to audiences through multiple platforms.

Email Emma on: [email protected]Read more

Everything you need to know about Sydney’s strata by-laws
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