Although section 110 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 provides for categories of “minor renovation” works and clause 28 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulations 2016 includes the installation of a reverse cycle split system air conditioner in the definition of minor renovation works strata committees and owners corporations should be careful when considering applications to install air conditioning. Why? For two reasons which are:
A: Not all air conditioning systems will be reverse cycle split system air conditioning systems; and
B: Even if the application is for a reverse cycle split system air conditioning system, the condenser unit or other components of these systems are often installed externally (usually on the balcony or external wall of the lot or near a car space or other utility area). Subsection 110(7)(c) of the Act has the effect that “work that changes the external appearance of a lot” does not fall into the definition of “minor renovation” works. If the condenser unit or other component of the air conditioning system is installed externally then it would generally change the external appearance of the lot and would not be minor renovation works.
What does this mean?
Owners corporation’s should carefully check applications for the installation of air conditioning systems and seriously consider passing a common property rights by-law (which requires a special resolution and the consent of the affected lot owners) permitting all lots to install air conditioning systems on defined conditions.
In this way, the owners corporation enables the installation of air conditioning systems, sets standard conditions for the work and eliminates the need for either multiple common property rights by-laws or multiple by-laws under section 108 authorising the alternation of the common property.