Structural Alterations

See action 87 of the Act

Structural alterations on a lot in a two-lot strata scheme cannot proceed without the prior written approval of the owner of the other lot, and if it is a leasehold scheme, the owner of the leasehold scheme.

Alterations in all other strata schemes cannot proceed without prior:

  • approval (resolution without dissent) of the strata company, or

  • written approval by the owner of each lot in the scheme, and

  • written approval of the owner of the leasehold scheme, if it is a leasehold scheme.

If each lot owner’s written approval is required, all approvals must be unconditional or subject to the same conditions and a copy of each approval served on the strata company.

If the scheme is a leasehold scheme, the written approval of the owner of the leasehold scheme is required in addition to the approval of the strata company or written approval of each lot owner.

Application to strata company or other owners
Grounds for refusing application
  • Disclosure of grounds
Survey strata schemes
  • Approval for structural alterations
  • Approvals and objections
  • Open space or plot ratio
  • SAT application for exemption from requirements
Application to strata company or other owners
 

A lot owner wanting to carry out structural alterations to their lot must serve an application for approval of the structural alteration on the other lot owner(s) or the strata company depending on which approval route is chosen and if relevant, the owner of the leasehold scheme.

The application must contain the details required in regulation 75 of the STGR 2019:

  • plans and specifications for the structural alteration

  • the area of the structure, including the area of all existing and proposed structures to be considered for the purposes of calculating the plot ratio restrictions and open space requirements

  • the open space or plot ratio requirements in relation to the parcel of land in the strata titles scheme

  • if carrying out the alterations will exceed those requirements, the percentage and area by which these will be exceeded if carrying out the alterations will not exceed those requirements, a statement to that effect

  • the location and dimensions of the structure when it is completed in relation to any existing structure on the lot or to the boundary of the lot

  • any contravention of any by-law, which is likely to occur as a result of carrying out the alterations

  • the materials to be used in the alterations

  • the colours of the structure, which will be visible from outside the lot

  • the method of construction of the alterations and the work plan or schedule for carrying out the alterations

  • any likely interruption or interference with any statutory easements, short form easements and restrictive covenants and other easements or restrictive covenants affecting the parcel whether of a permanent or temporary nature granted under the Act

  • whether the structural alteration to the lot changes the boundaries of the lot and if the applicant has sought advice from a licensed surveyor about the effect of the structural alteration.

 

If an application is made to the strata company for approval of the structural alteration to the lot, the strata company must provide a notice of the resolution to members of the strata company.

 

The notice of the resolution must include a statement that the vote for the lot may be cast:

  • against the resolution to approve the application or

  • in support of a resolution to refuse approval of the application, but only on a ground permitted under the Act (but not otherwise). A vote is of no effect unless the person casting the vote discloses a permitted ground for the person’s vote. If the vote on the resolution is taken at a meeting of the strata company, the chairman must read out the statement before the vote is taken.

Grounds for refusing application
 

A lot owner may only refuse or vote against the application on one or more of the following grounds, and not on any other ground:

  • the carrying out of the alterations will breach the open space or plot ratio requirements for the lot

  • the carrying out of the alterations will contravene a specified by-law of the strata company

  • the carrying out of the proposal may interfere with a short form easement, restrictive covenant, or any other easement or covenant, affecting the parcel as shown on the scheme plan or registered against the parcel.

In addition, if the lot is not a vacant lot, the carrying out of the alterations:

  • will result in a structure that is visible from outside the lot, which is not in keeping with the rest of the development

  • may affect the structural soundness of a building

  • may interfere with any statutory easement automatically granted under the Act.

Disclosure of grounds

A lot owner must disclose the grounds for refusing or voting against the application. If the grounds are a contravention of a by-law, the owner must specify the by-law which will be contravened.

 

If the grounds are not disclosed, the refusal or vote is ineffective.

See section 87(4)(d) of the Act

Survey Strata Schemes
 

See section 88 of the Act

Approval for structural alterations

Approvals and Objections

Open space or plot ratio

SAT Application for exemption from requirements

Approval for structural alterations

In a survey-strata scheme, the approval for structural alterations on a survey-strata lot is only required from the other lot owner in a 2-lot scheme or the strata company by resolution without dissent, if carrying out the alterations will breach the open space or plot ratio requirements for the lot. For all leasehold survey-strata schemes, the prior written approval of the owner of the leasehold scheme is also required. If these requirements will not be breached, there is no requirement to get the approval of the other owner or the strata company, unless a by-law provides otherwise

Approvals and Objections

See section 89 of the Act

An application for the approval of the structural alteration of a lot must set out details of the proposal. If an application is received by the strata company, voting on it must open within 35 days after receipt. This is known as the allowed period. The owner of a lot or the owner of a leasehold scheme approves the structural alteration if:

  • they provide written consent to the alteration, or

  • they have not, at the end of 42 days after being given the application, made a written objection to the alteration, or

  • for a strata scheme, the owner has made an objection which does not specify the grounds of the objection or the grounds specified are not grounds under the Act.

  • A strata company approves the structural alteration of a lot if:

  • it provides the applicant written consent to the alteration expressed by resolution without dissent, or

  • it has not, at the end of 77 days after being given the application, made a written objection to the alteration, or

  • for a strata scheme, it has made an objection which does not specify the grounds of the objection or the grounds specified are not grounds on which the strata company may object, under section 87.

Open space or plot ratio

Open space requirements and plot ratio restrictions are laid down by the local authority in relation to the area of the

land (parcel), which comprises the whole of the strata titles scheme. These requirements set out the total area of all structures, which may be constructed on the parcel. The balance must be kept as open space.

The method for calculating the open space requirements and plot ratio restrictions for each lot is set out in regulations 7 and 8 of the STGR 2019. The by-laws of the strata company can set out a different method of apportioning the open space of the parcel among the lots in the scheme.

SAT Application for exemption from requirements

An owner can apply to the SAT for exemption from the requirements for structural alterations to the lot, whether or not the necessary approval for the alteration has been sought and even if there has been a valid refusal of the alteration.

 

The SAT can only make an order if satisfied that the structural alteration is reasonable having regard to the merits of the alteration and interests of all lot owners in the use and enjoyment of their lots and the common property, and to the extent that the structural alteration has been carried out, it will not cause any significant detriment or inconvenience to the owners of the other lots

© 2003-2019 by Abode Strata. Privacy Policy
The advice within is general and has been prepared without taking into account any specific or personal objectives, financial situation or needs.

Please also note this general advice was provided prior to the new strata title amendments were proclaimed and will be updated in due course.

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