Renovating in a strata titled complex

Renovations for strata titled dwellings will generally fall into 3 categories:

  • Cosmetic
  • Minor
  • Major

Cosmetic Renovations

Cosmetic renovations are very basic things such as painting, minor patch work, installing hooks for paintings, and replacing carpet or blinds. You will not need any approvals to get this work done.


Minor Renovations

Minor renovations will need to get approved by ordinary resolution at a general meeting. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Renovating a kitchen
  • Changing recessed light fittings
  • Installing timber floors
  • Installation of new windows
  • Installing or replacing wiring or access points

It is also recommended to provide any plans that you may have, timeframes and all details, licenses and insurances of the tradespeople undertaking the work. You may also be required to have a special by-law (minor renovations) be drawn up by your solicitor.


Major Renovations

Major renovations can include things such as:

  • Structural changes
  • Changes to the existing floor plan
  • Changes to any plumbing, electrical and waterproofing

A special by-law (major renovations) will have to be drawn up and passed by special resolution vote.



Renovating in a strata complex can be quite stressful and challenging and I know from experience it can cause a lot of sleepless nights. If you are considering a minor or major renovation it helps to have all your ducks in a row before submitting anything to your owners corporation. The following steps are an example of things to get done.

  1. Have your plans drawn up by a qualified and reputable architect with a demolition and construction plan
  2. Obtain a dilapidation report
  3. Obtain an engineers report for any structural work that is being done
  4. Speak with Council and check if your renovation needs Council approval
  5. If no Council approval is needed then obtain a CDC from a licensed certifier
  6. Have your solicitor draw up your special by-law for your renovation
  7. Collate all the above documents and submit to the owners corporation to be passed
  8. Once your plans have been approved ensure that the owners corporation affixes the common seal onto your approved plans

For any further information always refer to NSW Fair Trading for clarification or your solicitor.

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