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Strata Query - Ducted Air Conditioning

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by morgzzz, 24th Jan, 2016.

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  1. morgzzz

    morgzzz Member

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    Not sure if I'm in the right area.

    My mother in law has two properties she is looking at installing ducted air conditioning.

    One is townhouse and the other a top floor unit.

    Both are strata blocks.

    With the recent changes to NSW strata laws does she still need strata approval to install the ducted air conditioning or is she free to just install it.

    Thanks
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Strata for each - affects external appearance.

    The top floor unit poses an additional fire risk. Unless she has deep pockets it's not going to happen. Fire rated/metal ductwork, fire dampers & certification. Will need to pay for the engagement of consultants to review plans.
     
    Last edited: 24th Jan, 2016
  3. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    I do not think there has been any change to strata laws that would allow you to go ahead and do as you like, remember, usually you just own the right to use the space, walls etc are common property, so would always require permission -- assuming those in the strata have a clue how it works.
     
  4. vtt

    vtt Well-Known Member

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    She will need approval for both of these options as the outdoor unit will need to be mounted to the outside wall (owned by strata) and if any holes are being drilled into the ceiling then they own that too.

    We put ducted air con into our townhouse a few years ago, it wasn't a problem - the strata wanted to know where the outdoor unit was being positioned, whether it was visible to other lot holders and/or unsightly and how much noise the unit emitted.

    They can't unreasonably refuse, but your MIL will need to demonstrate that the installation will have little or no impact on others in the block and all and any repairs/maintenance associated with the installation, operation and removal is your responsibility.
     
  5. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Quite often top floor will have fire prevention measures, putting ducts in the ceiling may be what Scott was talking about, probably a no no. A normal split, no drama.
     
  6. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

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    Not just strata approval, these require approval of a General Meeting (Committee authority does not extend far enough). This has been clear since s65A took effect in 2005.

    They will both need by-laws. Any air-con system does unless the OC wants to assume responsibility for maintaining it - and repairing any damage to the common property that you penetrate for the installation - and no OC intends to assume such a responsibility.

    Ducting through the roof void will probably also require approval for exclusive use of common property or special privilege, depending on the proposed installation, the building (structure), how the registered strata plan is drawn and any other by-laws in place. SSMA 2015 (yet to commence, but s110 is what you're probably talking about) does not impact the approval required.

    The good news is: the OC should get air-con by-laws as a standard practice, for ALL lot owners to rely on. That way the OC pays ONCE for the by-law, and each lot owner will either rely on the by-law as made or make a 'subsidiary' by-law with consent and have it registered at LPI. That saves each person about $800-$900. Depending on timing, you might have to pay to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting, and (depending on the system) you might have to pay for registration of your particular by-law (approx $350 - $450 usually).
     
    Ted Varrick likes this.
  7. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Most people in smaller plans have no clue, but I would suggest getting written approval.

    I have seen tenants remove parts of structural walls :eek: I am not sure how the others in the complex never questioned the large amount of noise and removal of rubble/bricks etc, of course, they think this is ok as they are paying good rent.....sheesh
     
  8. Ted Varrick

    Ted Varrick Well-Known Member

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    Your MIL should get on the horn to the Strata Manager as Russ (Post #6) outlines, so that she can assess what implications are involved in this forthcoming installation.

    And so that nothing goes pear-shaped, and so that she doesn't have to do it twice...