Unauthorised renovations by a lot owner

In the recent case of Owners Corporation SP22607 v Yang [2018] NSWCATCD 3 an owners corporation sought an order from the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to:

  • remove unauthorised works to an owner’s lot; and
  • restore common property that had been affected by the work.

The lot owner carried out the renovations without authorisation from the owners corporation as she believed the owners corporation “was being difficult and had sought to charge her for having the meeting to consider authorisation of the works”.

Although the Tribunal criticised the owner for carrying out the work, rather than making the order sought by the owners corporation the Tribunal ordered the owner to submit a common property rights by-law to the owners corporation for its approval, effectively allowing the owner a means to legitimise her initially unauthorised works.

However, the Tribunal also determined that the owner’s actions in ignoring a request by the strata managing agent and an interim order of the Tribunal to cease work constituted special circumstances warranting the making of a costs order against her.