The Owners Corporations Regulations 2018 were approved by the Governor in Council on 10 October 2018 and commenced operation from 2 December 2018, replacing the existing Owners Corporations Regulations 2007.
A summary of the principal changes affecting members of Owners Corporations follows.
Maintenance Plans (Regulation 7)
Major capital items that must be in a maintenance plan including common property structures, including the roof, stairways, balustrades and window frames, shared services (such as water, gas, electricity, sewerage, telephone etc) fences, pools and water tanks have been prescribed.
This obligation is for common property only and does not affect those parts of buildings and services within lots and the responsibility of the relevant owner to maintain and repair.
Any maintenance plan prepared from 2 December 2018 will be required to comply with the regulation. For prescribed Owners Corporations which have an existing maintenance plan, it will need to be updated to include the prescribed items.
For Owners Corporations with approved maintenance plans, it is possible the contributions included in the annual budget will altered by the extended coverage.
Committees (Regulation 9)
A Committee to resolve a Committee Member ceases to hold office if absent from 25% of committee meetings held in any six-month period unless notice or a reasonable explanation of the absence has been provided.
The removal of a committee member in accordance with this regulation creates a casual vacancy on the committee.
Model Rules Regulation 11
New model rules have been prescribed. The current rules 3 to 6 have been renumbered from 4 to 7 as there is a new model rule 2 dealing with committees.
New Rule 2.1
A Committee may appoint members to a sub-committee without reference to the Owners Corporation.
At present the Act provides the power to appoint subcommittees but does not make further provision. This regulation clarifies the appointment and membership of a sub-committee rest with the Committee and not with the Owners Corporation.
New Rule 5.2
5.2 External appearance of lots
- An owner or occupier of a lot must obtain the written approval of the owners corporation before making any changes to the external appearance of their lot.
- An owners corporation cannot unreasonably withhold approval, but may give approval subject to reasonable conditions to protect quiet enjoyment of other lot owners, structural integrity or the value of other lots and/or common property.
An owner is required to obtain written approval if any changes are made to the external appearance of the lot. An Owners Corporation may not unreasonably withhold approval.
New Rule 5.3
5.3 Requiring notice to the owners corporation of renovations to lots
An owner or occupier of a lot must notify the owners corporation when undertaking any renovations or other works that may affect the common property and/or other lot owners’ or occupiers’ enjoyment of the common property.
This will require notification of renovations to a lot which may affect other lots or common property. The effect on other lots of common property may arise from matters such as noise during works, alterations to common services, building materials or debris on common property and parking by contractors.
This rule is in addition to the existing obligation of an owner to provide notification of an application for a building permit, planning permit or certification of a plan of subdivision affecting the lot which continues unchanged.
A copy of the new regulations may be obtained from the Victorian government legislation website at www.legislation.vic.gov.au.