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Strata laws and by-laws

How they work across Australia

Strata and body corporate (owners corporation) laws can be complex and hard to understand. Each state has its own laws and its own terminology, often using the same words to mean different things.

So, to make things a bit easier for strata owners and committees - especially when it comes to strata insurance requirements - we've collected all the latest relevant laws and summarised them for each state. But if you still have questions about strata insurance in your state, you can always give us a call, because at Flex Insurance, tailored strata cover is our speciality. Or you can call your broker if you prefer.

What is a strata scheme?

A strata scheme is a way of dividing a single property into individual lots, allowing them to be owned by different people (e.g. an apartment building). Each strata scheme is run by strata body corporates or similar entities consisting of all owners. It's responsible for managing, maintaining and insuring all common areas of the property, including the building itself, which it owns.

What are strata laws?

Each state makes its own laws around setting up, owning, managing, and selling strata properties, as well as creating a committee to run each strata and outlining their powers and responsibilities. These laws apply to almost all strata title schemes in their state, and as such are quite general. More detailed rules are contained in regulations attached to each state's strata laws.

What are strata by-laws?

By-laws are specific rules adopted by the strata committee of a property. They only relate to that property and its residents. Some states, such as NSW, have model by-laws that committees can adopt or adapt to their own needs. Typically, by-laws deal with issues such as pets, the use of shared facilities, renovations, noise, and short-term rentals.

Are strata by-laws enforceable?

Yes. As long as the by-laws have been correctly adopted (usually by a vote of owners) they are enforceable on all residents and/or owners in a strata scheme. There are exceptions however. By-laws must not conflict with or try to get around state strata laws, regulations, or legal decisions. In many states, they can also be invalid if they're unfair, harsh, too restrictive or discriminate against some residents or owners. Most state strata laws include procedures for dealing with disputes over by-laws.

Information on strata laws by state