Renovations and common property rights

Renovations and common property rights article header image

Renovations and common property rights

If you’ve just returned from Bunnings or your nearby hardware store and planning on doing a home renovation to your apartment, there’s a few things you need to consider before getting started.

While your lot or property is your responsibility, any works that you commence may have an impact on another property.  So, what happens if you need to use part of the common property for renovation works?


Here’s what you need to know about renovating your apartment in each state:

NSW icon
In New South Wales

The first step is to refer to your by-laws as this will help determine who is responsible for maintaining common property. This responsibility would either stay with the strata committee or go to the requesting owner.

Queensland icon
In Queensland

When renovating and making alterations to an individual lot, the Body Corporate and Community Management Act does not restrict the changes or improvements which an owner can make.

Generally, owners can make improvements to elements of their apartment which are the responsibility of the owner, unless it interferes with common property in which case approval may be necessary. There may be further requirements under the building rules.

Victoria icon
In Victoria

As a lot owner in an owners corporation you are entitled to renovate or refurbish the interior of your apartment or unit. You must notify your owners corporation if the renovations require a building or planning permit. Generally, individual building rules will cover renovations and improvements and whether approval is needed from the committee before commencement.

To ensure a smooth apartment renovation process, here’s our top four PICA Group tips:


Be across the details of what is involved
The by-laws or building rules are in place to protect you from work that might not go to plan, so we recommend gathering as much details as possible before making an application for renovation approval. This will also help you to confirm your decisions have been thought through.

Clarify the renovation category
Understand what category of renovation your work falls under. If you’re not sure, read more here. Prepare a detailed submission that includes the details of the works, any plans, expected duration, the license and insurance details of the person carrying out the works, and the arrangement of rubbish or debris removal.

Know your by-laws or building rules
Before you make any renovation to your strata property, read your by-laws or building’s rules and refer to your state’s laws as to whether you will need consent.

Don’t act before approval is granted
Make sure to obtain the approvals necessary from your strata committee or owners corporation. Failure to do so can result in further costs to remove or reinstate the property to the condition prior to doing any works.


If you’d like to find out more on what you can or can’t do at your strata property, download our FREE Community Living guide on building compliance. Or for a strata repairs and maintenance services consultation by our Assured Building Maintenance team (NSW only), click here.

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