Five Common Myths About Strata Property By-Laws

If you are living in a strata property – there are various by-laws that you are required to follow. They act as a guide for living in a strata property. These frameworks help all the property owners to be on the same page and live in harmony.

The strata by-laws aim to ensure that all the owners are in sync and have an enhanced community living experience.

But often, various misconceptions surround the by-laws. This article will help clear up a few common misconceptions people have about the strata by-laws and give a clearer understanding of the by-laws.

Busting five common misconceptions about strata by-laws.

Smoking on balconies is not allowed.

The balcony is private property, and everyone has a right to enjoy it in a way they like. However, when it comes to smoking, the smoke from the cigarettes tends to go into neighboring apartments.

In New South Wales, the new strata legislation introduced in 2016 acknowledged that smoking might cause nuisance or hazard to others. A new model by-law introduced regulates smoke drifts and provides that the owner must ensure that the smoke doesn’t drift to another lot or common area. You need to check with your property’s by-laws to see what your owner’s corporation has decided. However, in Queensland and Victoria, there is no specific legislation that bans smoking on balconies. The body corporate can adopt a by-law or building rule related to smoking.

Pets are not allowed in strata properties.

There are no state strata property rules that interfere with pet ownership. However, you might have to check with your by-laws created by the owner’s community regarding acceptable conduct regarding pets. Pet owners have to ensure that there is no damage to common properties or the property is not compromised because of the pet.

There are few pet-related by-laws that might need you to take prior approval from the strata committee before bringing a pet into your property. In few by-laws, you just need to notify the committee about your pet.

You should remember, as a pet owner, you are accountable for your pet’s actions. You have to make sure they are fully vaccinated and trained to not pose a threat to other residents.

You can’t Airbnb your apartment.

If you are letting your apartment for the short-term, you have to make sure that your tenants are following the strata by-laws required to maintain the common property, and do not create an inconvenience for your neighbours.

The government rules are relaxed when it comes to short-term letting out, and you might want to check your building by-laws. You might need prior approval or notify your committee about the letting out process.

Party is a big no-no.

When you live in a society, you should be respectful towards other owners. However, there are no rules that restrict one from partying. You have to be mindful about the music and smokes don’t enter your neighbour’s property and cause them discomfort.

By-laws can’t be changed.

By-laws are created so that people can co=exists in harmony. If there are by-laws that are not working or are outdated, they can always be changed. If by-laws contradict state legislation, they can be invalidated by an adjudicator.

If you wish to recommend changes to your by-laws, you can file a motion at an annual general meeting (AGM) and seek the majority owner’s approval through votes.


This article is just a guide that can help you understand a few common misconceptions. If you need more information on rules related to real estate in South Australia it is important that you visit a property consultant.

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