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Using OC Rules to encourage Sustainability

The Knight Alliance
Using OC Rules to encourage Sustainability

Increasingly developers are building properties with sustainability in mind. Properties can be built with energy efficient features like solar panels and recycled water systems. Developers should also consider setting up their owners corporations to ensure sustainability remains a feature in the management and day to day operations. One way this can be achieved is by embedding sustainable rules into the owners’ corporation rules.

It is crucial to get rules correct from the start. Once the property settles, the owners corporation will need to achieve a special resolution to change them. This means that 75% of all owners will need to vote in favour for a final special resolution to pass. This can be difficult to achieve, especially at larger properties and ones with large numbers of renters. Developers therefore can have great impact in setting the owners corporation up for success by making sustainable OC rules from day one.

The below are some examples of how to embed sustainable rules into owners corporations.

Guiding principles:

Some owners corporations choose to start their rules with guiding principles. These can outline commitments to waste minimization, sustainable transport, energy efficiency and more. These principles can be used to guide the ongoing operation of the owners corporation and future decisions should be made with these guidelines in mind.

Energy efficiency:

Rules can commit property to ensuring efficiency standards are maintained. Sustainable OC rules could include banning gas BBQs on balconies or committing to only installing efficient lights & appliances. It can also include committing to measuring and offsetting the carbon footprint of the OC each year.


Owners corporation rules can detail how occupiers dispose of waste. This can include recycling correctly and ensuring there is no contamination of the bins which could result in recycling bins being sent to landfill. They can also stipulate that green waste must be composted if these facilities are available.


Rules can describe how common property gardens can be managed. This can include allowing residents to apply to manage areas of the garden and grow food onsite. They can also limit what is planted and choose to favour Australian native plants that use minimal water.


The Model Rules which apply to all owners corporations state that owners need to advise the owners corporation when making changes to their lots. Changes to the external appearance also need to be approved by the owners corporation. Developers can go further by ensuring these works are approved with sustainability in mind.

Rules can include a requirement that owners submit a sustainability statement with any works that identifies the materials that will be used. This statement should demonstrate the works are in line with the guiding principles of the owners corporation.

If you need any help with setting your owners corporation up with sustainability focused rules, get in touch with our team.

The Knight Alliance
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