Prescribed Management Rule 4 gives the Trustees the power to approve minor alterations to the common property – but this does not include solar panels or geysers.
Prescribed Management Rule 5 prohibits any owner doing anything on the common property that affects the harmonious appearance of the complex. This provision serves to protect the market value of units in the scheme.
The suggestion will be that the Trustees find out from the other owners how they view it and if the majority is in favour the Trustees can propose a Conduct rule to be adopted in this regard.
It is important that any owner who installs such a unit, and any subsequent owner of that unit, be responsible in terms of the scheme’s rules for keeping the installation looking good and in working order.
And if the installation falls into disrepair, that owner must be responsible to remove it, and/or the body corporate must be able to do so at the owner’s expense.
Assuming the installation will be attached to a roof, the owner and his or her successor in title must be responsible for any additional costs that arise, in the roof maintenance or otherwise, as a result of the installation. The rule would typically require an application by an owner to the trustees for permission to install such an installation but oblige the trustees to approve that application as long as it falls within the requirements of the rule.
The rule would include specific detail of the size and appearance of the various elements of the installation and its placement. In some situations where the panels are not mounted on roofs but on stands, rules of this type also include height restrictions and/or screening requirements. And you raised the issue of insurance – the rule should also include a provision that if any common expense, including insurance, is increased as a result of the existence of that installation the relevant owner will be liable for that increase.
– With appreciation to Prof Graham Paddock