What can an owners corporation make rules about?

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Owners corporations (formerly body corporate) can make rules for:

Rules can also cover:

  • dispute resolution 
  • notices and documents 
  • the common seal.

Health, safety and security

  • health, safety and security of owners of lots, occupiers and guests. For example, rules about contacting the committee or manager if there is an accident, injury or damage to a person or the building 
  • supervision and control of children near potentially dangerous areas of the common property, such as stairs, the laundry, driveways and swimming pools 
  • use of security keys 
  • storage of flammable liquids and other substances and materials 
  • disposal and storage of trade waste 
  • disposal of domestic waste and restrictions on leaving rubbish uncovered on the common property
  • requirements to provide fire safety advice and emergency preparedness plans. For example, there might be a rule that if a lot is occupied by renters, it would be the lot owner’s responsibility to inform the lot occupiers of fire safety systems in place
  • regulating or prohibiting the drifting of tobacco smoke from a lot to the common property, or any other lot in multi-level buildings.

Use of common property

  • care of lawns, garden, flowers, trees or shrubs on the common property 
  • damage to common property that is part of the building. This should not prevent the installation of a locking or safety device to prevent harm to children, or insect screens, required by building legislation 
  • moving furniture and other objects through common property, where it affects other users 
  • design, construction, appearance and landscaping of common property.

Use of, and works to, lots

  • use of lots - rules could govern changes in use. For example, from residential to commercial 
  • maintenance of security systems, smoke alarms and air conditioners 
  • restrictions on floor coverings in lots to reduce disturbance by noise 
  • requirements to maintain and care for lots 
  • requirements to clean exterior windows and doors of lots
  • renovations or alterations affecting the external appearance of a lot, to:
    • protect the quiet enjoyment of all other lots and the common property during those works
    • protect the structural integrity of any building on the plan of subdivision from those works
    • ensure the market value of any other lot does not decrease as a result of those works.

Note: an owners corporation must not make rules that unreasonably prohibit the installation of sustainability items on the exterior of a lot including solar hot water systems, solar energy panels and a roof with colours providing a particular solar absorption value.  

Design of lots

  • design, construction, appearance and landscaping of lot exteriors 
  • restrictions on blinds and window coverings 
  • restrictions on colour, painting or finish of lot exteriors 
  • requiring an owner to obtain prior written approval before making alterations to: 
    • building structure 
    • building exteriors 
    • chimneys, stairs, balconies or other attachments to the building exterior 
    • doors, windows or skylights on the building exterior or front common property 
    • fences, railings or similar structures that enclose a patio, balcony or yard.

Management and administration

  • use of and access to common property, equipment, services, and amenities on common property
  • use of swimming pools, barbeques or other common property 
  • fees for use of common property. For example, rules about using a theatre or swimming pool for private function or party 
  • use of skateboards, rollerblades, bicycles on common property 
  • care of common property, personal property, equipment, services and amenities, including littering 
  • notices, notice board and advertising 
  • drying of laundry on common property, balconies or where visible externally.

Behaviour of persons

  • behaviour of owners, occupiers and guests on common property 
  • behaviour of the owner or the occupier in a lot that would be illegal or cause a nuisance or hazard to any occupier or visitors 
  • noise and other nuisances, including noise from air conditioners, musical instruments, televisions, sound systems and lawn mowers between 10:00 pm and 9:00 am. Rules about noise should be made in accordance with environment protection laws.

Vehicles and parking

  • speed of vehicles and parking 
  • parking of heavy vehicles on common property without permission from the owners corporation 
  • use of car parks and carports for purposes other than car parking.

Committees and sub-committees

  • establishing a sub-committee, including membership, purpose, activities and reporting requirements 
  • maintenance and grievance committees’ responsibilities 
  • communication and complaints procedure.

Payment of fees

  • lot owners paying fees by instalments if they are in financial difficulty.