For many people, renting an apartment or townhouse in a strata property is often their first time living away from home. For others, it can be a period of downsizing after living in a house for so long. So, what do you need to know about renting a unit or apartment in a strata property?

If you’ve never had experience living in a strata property there are a few things you need to be aware of, namely around by-laws and rules that all residents must adhere to while they live in the property.  

It’s a good idea to understand what part of the complex or building is ‘common property’ and what is ‘privately owned property’. Common property is available for all residents to access and include: 

  • Gardens 
  • Swimming pools, spas, saunas 
  • Gym 
  • Driveways 
  • Lifts and stairwells 
  • Foyers 
  • Shared laundry facilities 

Common By-Laws 

When living in a strata property there are some very common by-laws to be aware of, these are around noise, pets, smoking and parking.  

If you have lived in a strata complex before you will be familiar with by-laws and it is important to note that these are unique to each scheme. Reading and understanding the by-laws and rules of the building you are currently living in is very important and is the best way to avoid any misunderstandings.  

Let’s look at some examples of the most common by-laws;

If the by-laws for the property you live in say that residents must park in their own designated carparks, you must park in the carpark designated for your unit or apartment. Visitor car parks are common property and therefore must only be used by visitors.  

By-laws surrounding having a pet in a strata complex most commonly include; how they can move and behave while on common property, cleaning up after your pet and having all pets registered with local authorities.  

Smoking is still an issue particularly for those living in high rise apartments with balconies. Smoke travels easily, and care needs to be taken that the smoke from your unit does not enter the property of another resident. By-laws will often outline where smoking can and cannot occur on common property.  

Tenant Rights in Strata Property  

As with all residents, you do have rights within a strata property. These include being kept informed of changes and works happening around the building or property and being able to use common properties areas such as the pool and gym.  

If you have any issues with your property, you need to bring these up with your landlord or property manager. If there is an issue with common property, advising the building manager or your property manager is your first step.  

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