By-law Registrations: What you need to know

Each strata scheme has its own by-laws, or a set of rules or guidelines that all owners, tenants and sometimes visitors must adhere to. By-laws cover all types of issues from the use of common property areas to the keeping of pets, smoking regulations, car parking, noise levels and the operation of short-term rental accommodation.

As the owners corporation have the power to decide what by-laws should be in place for their strata scheme, this can differ from other by-laws in other schemes. An owners corporation can create brand new by-laws as well as change them. However, for new by-laws to come into effect, the owners corporation must register the by-law with NSW Land Registry Services within six months of its approval. To change a by-law, the changes can only be adopted if approved by a special resolution at an owners corporation general meeting. However, keep in mind that a by-law has no force or effect if it is inconsistent with the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, or any other laws.

Registering by-laws can be a fairly complicated process, with a consolidation/change of by-law form required, along with any other necessary forms to be delivered to the NSW Land Registry.

To make this process a more seamless experience, we recommend using Kerin Benson Lawyers, who offer two types of by-law registration services:

  1. Full-Service Registration

A Full-Service Registration includes the following work:

  • Preparing the consolidation/change of by-law form & a certificate as to the initial period (if required)
  • Liaising with your strata manager to ensure the forms are correctly executed
  • Verifying the authorisation of the witness to the affixing of the seal and their identity
  • Lodging the documents through PEXA to register the by-law changes
  • Confirming registration
  • Obtaining a dealing search and
  • Providing the search, a copy of the consolidated by-laws in Microsoft Word to your strata manager and confirming registration of the change of by-law.
  1. Registration Agent Service

The Registration Agent Service includes the following work:

  • Liaising with your strata manager to ensure the consolidation/change of by-law forms are correctly executed
  • Verifying the authorisation of the witness to the affixing of the seal and their identity
  • Lodging the documents through PEXA to register the by-law changes
  • Confirming registration
  • Obtaining a dealing search, and
  • Providing your strata manager with the dealing search and confirming registration of the change of by-law.


The total fees for both services include professional fees, lodgement fees, dealing search and LRS filing fee (dealing registration).

Common by-law registration questions

Some of the common questions asked by Strata Managers include the following.

What happens to the paper certificates of title on 11 October 2021?

According to the Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021, Certificates of Titles will no longer be a legal document and are not required to register a dealing. Although a copy will not be required to register the by-law, Kerin Benson Lawyers request them for a short time period to ensure that any initial period form has been registered and when doing a consolidation, all the registered by-laws have been consolidated. If you’re uncertain whether you hold the current Certificate of Title, they can perform a title search to check the title and use that as the base document.

When do all lodgements have to be electronic?

From 11 October 2021, all lodgements go electronic. Any changes of by-laws or any other dealings must be lodged through PEXA (Property Exchange Australia).

Do I need to provide a passport and driver’s license for PEXA lodgements?

PEXA is Australia’s online settlement and lodgement platform for property transactions. To avoid any fraudulent property transactions, verifying your identity is an important step.

When conducting one-off registrations, Kerin Benson Lawyers would require both a passport and an Australian driver licence. However, in most cases where they have had a long-term relationship, like with The Strata Collective, and know who has the required approvals with their identity already verified, this verification process does not need to happen again. For anyone new who starts working at The Strata Collective and witnesses the seal being affixed, Kerin Benson Lawyers would then ask them to verify their identity and ask a director to also verify that they have the authority to witness the affixing of the deal.

Other reasonable steps taken by Kerin Benson Lawyers to verify that the Strata Manager works for the owners corporation includes receiving the meeting minutes on the Strata Manager’s letterhead and receiving instructions via the Strata Manager’s work email address. This and the fact that the seal for the Owners Corporation has been affixed is considered to be reasonable steps to verify that the Strata Manager works for the owners corporation.

Find out more about by-law registrations

Contact Kerin Benson Lawyers to learn more about by-law registrations and how they can assist your NSW strata scheme with changing or creating new by-laws.

The Strata Collective

Level 3, 3 Spring St
Sydney, NSW 2000

Ph: 02 9137 2320

Strata Community Australia Member

Winner of the
SCA NSW Strata Community Awards 2018
«Small Business Award»

Congratulations to The Strata Collective and Principal, Rod Smith for winning such a prestigious award.

See the full story and photos here.

© 2019 The Strata Collective

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