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Want to renovate your apartment? Here’s what you need to know

By Andrew Bell

It’s a commonly held misconception that you can’t renovate an apartment. While there are certainly restrictions, the fact is, if you know what you’re doing and follow your owner’s corporation rules, you may be able to make extensive changes

Before you start tearing down walls, find out everything you need to know to keep your Gold Coast apartment renovation is stress-free (and legal).

If you make changes to your apartment you may need to approve your plans with your owners corporation first.

Strata or owners corporation rules

The owners corporation is a group of apartment owners or third party operators who are responsible for the management and maintenance of the building’scommon areas. Since this group is in control, renovating common areas in apartment, unit or even townhouse complexes requires their approval.

Whatever is under your wallpaper or paint and the floor underneath your carpet or coverings is usually considered common property and managed by the body corporate as well. That means you should be able to change things like your carpet, paint or wallpaper, appliances, lighting, air conditioning or heating units and kitchen joinery without too much trouble.

With that said, every strata is different and it’s best practice to:

  • Submit details of your renovation plans 21 days before you plan to start.
  • Give neighbours 14 days notice before you start.
  • Ensure that all work is not carried out when it might impact other residents quiet enjoyment of their homes.

Regardless of how small the changes you’re making are, it’s always best to formally ask for permission first to avoid breaking any rules.

A few small renovations could make a big difference to your apartment.

Extensive renovations in apartments

If you’re looking to renovate your kitchen and bathroom, take out a wall, install new hardwood flooring or complete other major renovations, it’s essential that you let the owners corporation know as far in advance as possible. You’ll need to submit detailed plans of what you plan to do, including a timeframe and any council permits that are required to complete the work.

On the other hand, if you want to open up the apartment by removing or moving a wall you may need to hire a structural engineer to assess the property first. It’s also usually better to hire plumbers, electricians and builders who have experience working in apartment complexes, as they’ll be more aware of everything that’s required of you during renovations.

If you’re ready for a change, whether that’s a new apartment or renovating your current space, get in touch with the experts at your nearest Ray White office for expert advice.

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