3.2.2 Custom by-laws | Owners Corporation Network

3.2.2 Custom by-laws

Your strata scheme may have amended the Model by-laws or have added some of their own.  Custom by-laws can be much more rigorous and restrictive than Model by-laws when it comes to noise control and can reflect the level of quiet that owners expect.

The types of things a custom by-law can prescribe include:

  • Building works times of the day. Will specify the time and days between which banging hammering, rubbish removal or heavy lift use can be done.
  • Flooring materials and quality. A by-law can specify a particular level of sound transfer be achieved. Note: Anything higher that IIC of 55 for timber or tiled floors is generally impractical to implement in buildings with a basic concrete slab as the sound proofing underlay would have to be too high. Because installing a hard floor in lieu of carpet, even with acoustic underlay, will not result is a similar performance to carpet Some buildings By-Laws explicitly indicate that replacing carpet floors with a hard floor finish is not possible. The by-law may go on to state the carpet must be good quality carpet laid over heavy duty underlay.
  • Facilities open/close times. Restricting the times of use of some facilities such as the pool or gym may alleviate noise at unhospitable hours in some buildings.
  • Permissions for works.Permission to be sought from the Owners Corporation before altering or changing a floor finish. Application for consent must include a report from a qualified acoustic engineer that analyses the acoustic properties of the proposed floor finish. non-specific terms, such as you can’t remove carpet or change the floor covering without Owners Corporation permission and that such permission will only be given provided there is a written undertaking to provide noise insulation to the same level and to remedy any failings immediately if downstairs neighbours are adversely affected.
  • Testing required before and / or after works completion. Acoustic performance standard measured in situ for the flooring finish must meet certain criteria. Some buildings By?Laws will require an acoustic report prior to installation and/or testing on completion of the hard floor
  • Prescriptive resolutions required for filing to meet noise benchmarks. If an installed floor finish fails the provisions of the by-law, then a Notice may be issued to the lot owner concerned requiring that lot owner to place carpet laid over heavy duty underlay over the installed floor finish

The three areas that custom by-laws are often created to control noise are:

  1. Pets
  2. Building works
  3. Flooring
IT IS WISE TO ALWAYS REQUIRE AN APPROVAL PROCESS THAT MUST BE UNDERGONE WITH THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OR OWNERS CORPORATION

As well, by-laws can refer to ‘guidelines’ or an appropriate process for approval.