Renovations and my strata

Any sort of renovation can be exciting, expensive and stressful. In a strata unit or apartment, it can be even more challenging to renovate because we might be unclear as to what we can do without permission.

In this article, let’s discuss some of the common repairs and maintenance you can conduct freely and others you need permission for from your body corporate or strata owner.

But before reading further, it is important to note that every building is different and there may be specific by-laws in place that prevent even minor renovations.

We recommend checking with your owner about what exactly you can do, lest you incur legal action.

Minor cosmetic

The reason why approval is needed for certain renovations is because it can impact the structure of the building.

Minor cosmetic changes such as hanging a painting, changing the colour of a wall or even modifying a countertop are all typically fine to do without permission.

According to the Fair Trading NSW site, other work can be declared as cosmetic if a by-law is passed. So, there may be more that you could do than originally thought.

Major renovations (Internal)

This would include things like renovating the kitchen or bathroom with new tiles, sinks, shower and so on.

These require permission because it could affect structural areas as well as the waterproofing.

Typically, 50% of the owner’s corporation needs to approve the plan for you to be able to enact it. Even if the owner(s) says it is all fine, it is better to ask anyway.

Even larger renovations may require 75% approval.

Communal areas

For anything that is a communal area or that would affect shared areas, it is important to talk to the owner.

Ultimately, because it is communal, it means the owner has the final say. But genuine ideas such as access ramps or fixtures may be of benefit and the owner may allow permission.

Each area is different – and a good strata manager will know the regulations for your situation.

Apart from getting the owner’s approval, it is important to comply with all council and government regulations as well.

For owners

Owners are able to speed up processes by passing by-laws that allow strata committees to approve minor renovations.

You can also pass by-laws that classify other work as minor renovations, making it easier to approve.

Having skilled strata managers will help in staying on top of all requests, paperwork and laws surrounding renovations and repairs.


Strata & Co. are experts in all things strata – and we can assist strata owners in keeping residents as happy as possible. We can help with advice, paperwork, financial, legal work and other strata management services you need.

Give us a call at 1300 033 947 to talk to our local staff about how we can help you with our services.