The rules and guidelines around your strata renovation plans depend on what kind of work you intend to carry out. In NSW, they’re categorised as either cosmetic work, minor renovations or major renovations. Depending on your intended changes, you’ll be required to seek different levels of approval.
You can carry out cosmetic work without consulting your owners’ committee. This type of renovation includes decor changes to the interior of your apartment, including installing hooks or handrails and repairing minor internal wall damage.
However, an owners corporation can elect to categorise other types of work as cosmetic, so you must check records for any by-laws that apply to your building.
For renovations such as altering wiring, changing hard floors or recessed light fittings, you must seek the approval of the owners’ corporation. At least 50 percent of the corporation must agree to the renovations, and they are within their rights to impose reasonable conditions.
As a unit owner, you may be required to provide additional details such as work plans, timelines and names of any contractors.
Structural changes and those that change the outer appearance of the building fall into this category. No major renovations can be carried out without a special resolution vote, and you must give at least 14 written days notice prior to the work commencing.
There are also by-laws around renovations that involve the use of common property, and it’s worth checking whether this is required before making arrangements for any work to begin.