New Owners Corporation Regulations – What Do They Mean For You?

New Owners Corporation Regulations Introduce New Model Rules For Melbourne Body Corporates

The Owners Corporations Regulations 2018 will come into effect on 2 December 2018, meaning additional regulations will be in place to complement the Owners Corporation Act (VIC) 2006.

The new regulations are headlined by changes to the Modern Rules, rules which govern all Owners Corporations as standard, as well as changes to maintenance plans which help to further define the “major capital items” such plans should cover.

Interestingly, the new regulations do not provide any additional powers to Owners Corporations in light of the new short-stay leasing standard of conduct mentioned in the Owners Corporation Amendment (Short-Stay Accommodation) Act 2018.

NOTE: For more on the new Short Stay Laws, read Strata Plan’s summary HERE.

So, how will the new regulations affect Melbourne body corporates and their day-to-day operations?

We summarise the important new regulations below…

Regulation 7. Maintenance Plans

The new regulations help to better define the specific major capital items which must be included in an Owners Corporation’s maintenance plan which includes common property structures.

These include:

  • The roof
  • Stairways and balustrades
  • Shared services
  • Fences
  • Pools
  • Water Tanks
  • Window Frames

It is unclear at this point whether or not Owners Corporations with existing Maintenance Plans will be required to update their current plans to include these items if they are not already included.

Strata Plan is awaiting further legal advice on this matter and will share with any relevant Owners Corporations and committees once advised.

Regulation 9. Membership of Committee

An Owners Corporation committee can now resolve to remove a committee member from office if that member is absent from committee meetings without a reasonable explanation within a six month period.

Whether or not this regulation provides some commentary on how often an Owners Corporation committee should be convening for committee meetings is up for interpretation. Learn more about the benefits of regular committee meetings HERE.

Regulation 11. Model Rules

The regulations biggest changes have come in the creation of three new Model Rules which will be applicable to all Owners Corporations as of December 2.

The most impactful of these new rules will most probably be Model Rule 5.2 which relates to the external appearance of lots.

The new rule states the following:

 

5.2 External appearance of lots

  1. An owner or occupier of a lot must obtain the written approval of the owners corporation before making any changes to the external appearance of their lot.
  2. An owners corporation cannot unreasonably withhold approval but may give approval subject to reasonable conditions to protect quiet enjoyment of other lot owners, structural integrity or the value of other lots and/or common property.

 

What does this mean? It means you cannot make changes to the outside appearance of your lot, regardless of whether or not the changes only affect private property, without the consent of your Owners Corporation.

Of course, the Owners Corporation must be “reasonable” in deciding whether or not to approve the proposed changes.

The other important change is the creation of Model Rule 5.3 which provides further requirements for lot owners to notify the Owners Corporation of any renovation works to their property.

The new rule states:

 

5.3 Requiring notice to the owners corporation of renovations to lots

An owner or occupier of a lot must notify the owners corporation when undertaking any renovations or other works that may affect the common property and/or other lot owners’ or occupiers’ enjoyment of the common property.

 

The other new rule, Model Rule 2.1, provides Owners Corporation committees with the power to appoint committee members to a sub-committee (such as a grievance committee), without reference to the Owners Corporation.

 

The other regulations deal with registration fees for strata managers and can be read about HERE.

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