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Strata Law

Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 No 138
Current version for 31 January 2011 to date.

Schedule 1 - By-laws, Section 42

5. Damage to common property


(1) An owner or occupier of a lot must not mark, paint, drive nails or screws or the like into, or otherwise damage or deface, any structure that forms part of the common property without the approval in writing of the owners corporation.

(2) An approval given by the owners corporation under sub-clause (1) cannot authorise any additions to the common property.

(3) This by-law does not prevent an owner or person authorised by an owner from installing:

(a) any locking or other safety device for protection of the owner’s lot against intruders, or

(b) any screen or other device to prevent entry of animals or insects on the lot, or

(c) any structure or device to prevent harm to children.

(4) Any such locking or safety device, screen, other device or structure must be installed in a competent and proper manner and must have an appearance, after it has been installed, in keeping with the appearance of the rest of the building.

(5) Despite section 62, the owner of a lot must maintain and keep in a state of good and serviceable repair any installation or structure referred to in sub-clause (3) that forms part of the common property and that services the lot.

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Safety Nets For Life's Advice

The Office Of Fair Trading has advised us that safety nets DO fall in the category of safety products for children which can be installed without the need for Strata permission, if the building follows the by-law above.

The Law states that owners can install devices to protect children from harm without having to ask for permission or to inform the Owners Corporation.

Safety Nets For Life encourages clients who are interested in getting our safety nets installed in their buildings to:

* Find out which model by-law your building follows. The above is the standard model, which most buildings follow. However, some buildings have their own by-laws. Ask your Strata manager for a copy of your building by-laws.

If you decide to contact your Strata;

* Send a letter informing you have intentions to install safety nets in your apartment to protect your children from falls. Explain the installation process in detail (Installation Instructions). Attach the above By_Law and explain that, in your understanding you can install the safety nets without consent from the Owners Corporation. However, you thought it was important to inform them about your decision before going ahead with the job. Explain that you will be paying for all the costs involved, including removal and patching up.

* If there is no response, you must either go ahead with the works or contact them again. If they respond saying in their view you should not go ahead with the installation:

* Fill up this form and send it to the Office Of Fair Trading.

www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Tenants_and_home_owners/Strata_schemes/Resolving_issues_strata_schemes.html


The Office of Fair Trading will mediate the issue with your Strata. We strongly believe that based on the law, Stratas and body corporate will have no grounds to forbid you from installing the safety nets.


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The following link is to an article which was published in the SMH. It is about one of our clients, who decided to ask her Body Corporate for permission to install the safety nets. They replied that as she is a "stay-at-home" mum, she should look after her children and therefore did not allow her to install the safety nets.