LIVING HARMONIOUSLY IN THE WATERTOWER
STRATA SCHEMES MANAGEMENT ACT 1996 (NSW)
As a registered Strata building, the The Watertower falls under the jurisdiction of the Strata Schemes Management Act (NSW). The objects of this Act are:
(a) to provide for the management of the strata scheme and
(b) to provide for the resolution of disputes arising in connection with the management of strata schemes
One section of the Act and a number of associated by-laws address issues relating to harmonious living in such a building. The following is an extract of relevant sections of the Act and several by-laws that apply.
Strata Management Act
Section 117 Owners, occupiers and other persons not to create nuisance
(1) An owner, mortgagee or covenant chargee in possession (whether in person or not), lessee or occupier of a lot must not:
(a) use or enjoy the lot, or permit the lot to be used or enjoyed, in such a manner or for such a purpose as to cause a nuisance or hazard to the occupier of any other lot (whether that person is an owner or not), or
(b) use or enjoy the common property in such a manner or for such a purpose as to interfere unreasonably with the use or enjoyment of the common property by the occupier of any other lot (whether that person is an owner or not) or by any other person entitled to the use and enjoyment of the common property, or
(c) use or enjoy the common property in such a manner or for such a purpose as to interfere unreasonably with the use or enjoyment of any other lot by the occupier of the lot (whether that person is an owner or not) or by any other person entitled to the use and enjoyment of the lot.
Note: The legal definition of ‘nuisance’ is very different from the everyday meaning. For a noise to be construed as a nuisance’ it needs to be:
frequent or persistent,
something a reasonable person with no particular sensitivity would be affected by,
out of context or unanticipated (e.g. neighbours walking past your front door talking loudly may not count – even though it may be loud and intrusive)
documented with substantial evidence of some sort
An owner or occupier of a lot must not create any noise on a lot or the common property likely to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the owner or occupier of another lot or of any person lawfully using common property.
Children playing on common property in building
An owner or occupier of a lot must not permit any child of whom the owner or occupier has control to play on common property within the building or, unless accompanied by an adult exercising effective control, to be or to remain on common property comprising a laundry, car parking area or other area of possible danger or hazard to children.
Behaviour of invitees
An owner or occupier of a lot must take all reasonable steps to ensure that invitees of the owner or occupier do not behave in a manner likely to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the owner or occupier of another lot or any person lawfully using common property
Smoking in Common Areas Not Permitted
The owner or occupier of a lot must not, nor allow invitees, guests and/or visitors to:
smoke any substance on any area of the common property;
drop, throw, place or leave any refuse from smoking, including without limitation any butt or match on the common property
An owner or occupier of a lot must not park or stand any motor or other vehicle on common property except with the prior written approval of the owners’ corporation.
Washing of Cars
The washing of vehicles is prohibited in the car parks.
Obstruction of common property
An owner or occupier of a lot must not obstruct lawful use of common property by any person except on a temporary and non-recurring basis.
a. An owner of a lot must ensure that all floor space within the lot is covered or otherwise treated to an extent sufficient to prevent the transmission from the floor space of noise likely to disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the owner or occupier of another lot.
b. This by-law does not apply to floor space comprising a kitchen, laundry, lavatory or bathroom.
Drying of laundry items
An owner or occupier of a lot must not, except with the prior written approval of the owners corporation, hang any washing, towel, bedding, clothing or other article on any part of the parcel in such a way as to be visible from outside the building other than on any lines provided by the owners corporation for the purpose and there only for a reasonable period.
Appearance of lot
a. The owner or occupier of a lot must not, without the prior written approval of the Owners Corporation, maintain within the lot anything visible from outside the lot that, viewed from outside the lot, is not in keeping with the rest of the building;
b. This by-law does not apply to the hanging of any washing, towel, bedding, clothing or other article as referred to in By Law Drying of laundry items
1. To ensure that the swimming pool and barbeque facilities are available for the safe and peaceful enjoyment of all owners, occupiers and invitees, owners, occupiers and invitees of the age of 16 years or over must:
(a) Accompany and actively supervise children under the age of 16 years in the swimming pool and the surrounding area bordered by the perimeter fence
(b) Ensure there is no running, diving, bombing or other behaviour by any person of any age likely to result in damage to common property or liability to the Owners’ Corporation following injury resultant upon the offending behaviour
(c) Ensure that there is no noisy behaviour by any person of any age that would adversely affect the peaceful enjoyment of other owners or occupiers
2. To protect and shield the Owners’ Corporation from any potential liability that may arise from damage to common property, injury or neglect of responsibility, a member of the Owners’ Corporation may direct owners, occupiers or their invitees to comply with paragraph 1 of this by-law.
3. Pursuant to paragraph 2 of this by-law, a member of the Executive Committee may, in their absolute discretion:
(a) Notify the owner of the lot about the offending behaviour;
(b) Levy an administrative charge, of $35 per hour or part thereof, to the owner of the lot, for the time spent in bringing the offending behaviour to the attention of the owner, occupier or invitees of the lot.
4. Pool Hours: The swimming pool and the surrounding area boarded by the perimeter fence may only be occupied between 6 am and 11pm Monday to Saturday and between 8am and 11pm on Sundays.