House rules VS By-laws 

By-laws are a set of duties, obligations, procedural matters and behavioural rules for owners, occupiers and visitors of a strata property in Perth. However, what are house rules? And how do they differ from by-laws?

As Perth strata managers, we often see clients confusing the two subjects, as the two can seem very similar on face value. After all, both were created by the owners of a particular scheme. However, the biggest point of difference is how binding each one is, and the implications that result in not following them.

In this article, we define the two, and explain the key differences that set them apart.

Firstly, what are ‘house rules’? 

A primary difference regarding house rules is the fact that not every scheme will have them. While every scheme will always have by-laws in place, some schemes are not guided by house rules.

House rules exist to help control and manage common property for the benefit of all owners. Their existence champions a sense of camaraderie between owners, particularly pertaining to common property.

Another important aspect of house rules is the fact they only serve as a mere guide, and are not enforceable. Unless of course they are registered as a by-law on the strata plan. There are perks to this as house rules do not need to be registered via Landgate, and can be merely agreed upon in a committee meeting. However, this does also mean they cannot be enforced, nor can those in breach of house rules be taken to court over the matters.

While house rules are not registered at Landgate, it is strongly advisable that they follow by-laws in place to ensure they are not discriminatory, unfair or oppressive. Having house rules that fall within these categories would be considered a breach of the standard by-laws having wider implications for the scheme.

Now, onto by-laws…

The rules that govern participation in a strata scheme are known as by-laws, and are normally made by a developer or builder on registration of a strata plan. Alternatively, they may also be done by the Owner’s Corporation. If one breaches a by-law, the implications can be enforced.

Unlike house rules, a set of by-laws of a strata scheme are legally binding and are registered at Landgate. It is a requirement for by-laws to be registered within three months of being created. An unregistered by-law, like house rules, cannot be enforced. All schemes follow a standard set of by-laws with some schemes having additional by-laws they may have adopted over time.

If a by-law is breached, it can be enforced and dealt with by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), with any person being fined up to the value of $2000 for the defined breach. Because of the nature of by-laws, they are often drafted by a Perth lawyer as they are legally binding and must go through a tedious process to get approved and accepted.

For more advice for your strata management in Perth, levy collection, advice on house rules, understanding your by-laws and other elements of your strata scheme – be sure to contact Oakfield today. We are a trusted strata management team in Perth who place your community’s harmony at the centre of our strata management. Let’s chat.