Strata By-Laws


By-laws are the rules that guide how strata communities live together. Their legal basis is in the regulations attached to NSW strata title laws. The by-laws for your scheme are available through your Strata+ MyProperty login.

By-laws may be made for the management, administration, control, use of the lots or common property. They do not over-ride any community management, precinct management and strata management statements that apply to any development your strata or community plan is part of. They also cannot:

  • Restrict children occupying a lot
  • Prevent keeping of an assistance animal
  • Be inconsistent with strata legislation or other laws
  • Be unjust, harsh, unconscionable, or oppressive
  • Prevent property dealings (other than short-term letting – see below).

By-laws can regulate pets and establish an approval process that ensures they do not unreasonably interfere with others’ enjoyment – but they cannot ban pets completely.


A scheme can adopt a by-law to limit the number of adults living within individual lots if, for example, there are issues with over-crowding. Planning approvals prevail over such by-laws, and the limit cannot be less than two adults per bedroom with further exceptions for extended family, partners and carers. See s36 Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016

By-laws can also restrict short-term letting such as Airbnb but only if the owner does not live in the lot.


Most schemes were set up by adopting standard or model by-laws attached to the relevant regulations as a starting point:

Pre schemes 1996: Schedule 2 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 (NSW)

Schemes Registered 1997 TO 29 November 2016: By-laws registered with the Registrar General were adopted, including any subsequent changes to those by-laws in the regulations.

Schemes Registered from 30 November 2016: Schedule 3 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 (NSW)

These updated versions give effect to various policy changes since older schemes were registered, such as banning smoking on balconies.


Many schemes have additional or customised by-laws that govern the use of common property such as pools, gyms, gardens, and other communal facilities. They can also regulate behaviour or activities by individual residents or owners that might impact on other members of your community. Examples can include:

Where any element of common property is assigned to an individual lot owner for exclusive use or special privileges, such as a courtyard or storage area, a special bylaw is required to give legal effect. Similarly, any renovations or modifications that might impinge on common property will require approval as a minimum under the bylaws and may also require a special by-law.

The rest of the community has a legitimate interest in ensuring that renovations do not compromise the building’s functional integrity, aesthetic appeal, and general amenity and that the work will be carried out in a way that minimises impact on neighbours. Common examples of minor modifications that still require approval include installation of air conditioners, replacing carpet with hard flooring and bollards or storage stands in parking bays.


Any changes to by-laws – approval, amendment, or repeal – can only occur at a general meeting of owners through a special resolution, which means that no more than 25 per cent of owners can vote against it.

The notification of a change must be lodged at the Land Service Registry within six months of the resolution to have legal effect. Since 2016, this must be in the form of a complete and updated consolidated set of by-laws. This is normally done through a conveyancer or solicitor.


The most effective way of enforcing bylaws is in a neighbourly manner – speak to the person and raise awareness to why those rules are in place. If that does not work, the regulations provide for an enforcement process that starts with formal notification, then mediation and can lead to substantial fines for wilful and continued breaches.

If you have any questions about your by-laws, contact your Strata Plus strata manager.


Updated: July 2023

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