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Christmas Decorations and your By-Laws

During Christmas time, it is important to remember that while you might be taking a break from work that does not mean that you can take a break from following your Body Corporate’s by-laws.

Can the Body Corporate really ban me from installing Christmas lights on my balcony?

The short answer is yes. However, this is completely dependent on the how your complex’s by-laws are compiled. Many complexes have by-laws regulating the external appearance of lots or the building and these by-laws usually relate to what can be displayed or placed on balconies and terraces.

Where by-laws are drafted clearly and explicitly to require body corporate consent to display items on a balcony in a way that is visible from outside of the building, such consent is also required to be acquired when hanging Christmas lights and other decorations.

It has been noted by Adjudicators that while by-laws prohibit owners and occupiers from hanging washing, bedding, towels and clothing or other articles on balconies, caution must be exercised when issuing by-law contravention notices with respect to Christmas lights. Normal rules of statutory interpretation apply to by-laws and where a list of specific terms is followed by a general ‘catch-all’ term, the general term is limited to the category established by the specific terms.

Disclaimer: This article is intended as general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. For specific legal advice please contact us here.


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