Obtaining body corporate approval for installing AC

Air Conditioning FAQs

One thing to tick off your list before going ahead with an installation is to consider what kind of structure you live in and if you’ll need to apply to the body coprporate for approval. Body coporates generally oversee apartment buildings and offices rather than free standing homes. It’s always important to check if approval is required as breaking the rules could lead to the forceable removal of your system; an avoidable and expensive exercise.

Most installation companies will also ask for body corporate approval before they start the work as they are usually making external alterations to a building. They can provide a plan that will indicate where the new unit is going to be located. Body corporates can be very particular about even the smaller details such as a duct cover colour or where in an apartment block an outside condensor is placed, so it’s best to send them your plans for approval before objections are raised.

What kind of rules need to be complied with?

Body corporates have similar sets of rules and requirements when making changes to a building. These involve things such as building code compliance, maintaining the asethics of a building and noise pollution. Below is a list of requirements you may be asked to meet as they are generally listed in an owner’s corporation document. We have broken them down into three main sections.

In terms of requirements for the placement and installation of air-conditioning equipment, Owners Corporation approval is essential and needs to comply with the following:


  • The colour of any unit/system and associated pipe and electrical connections must be in keeping with the finishes of the building.
  • The unit/system and associated pipe and electrical connections must be installed 100mm below the horizontal height of the top balcony handrail. This includes all penetrations through the walls, window frames and all external finishes. Surface mounted pipes, conduits, brackets are not permitted to be affixed on the Owners Corporation areas. Penetrations must be neat with minimum clearance, be correctly sealed/weather-proofed and finished in keeping with the existing building finished in keeping with the existing building finishes.
  • The area of installation must be thoroughly cleaned and all debris/packing materials etc, be removed from site. The Owners Corporation rubbish bins and recycle bins are not to be used for this purpose.


  • Operating noise levels of the unit/system must not interfere with or disrupt adjoining neighbours and must be positioned such that the noise level at the bedroom window of another apartment does not exceed 45 dB, and may after installation/ commissioning require additional sound proofing in order to satisfy this requirement.


  • All condensate drainage must be installed in a manner that prevents water falling to neighbouring apartments and/or common areas below and must not damage or deface any part of the building finishes. Condensate waste must be discharged to an approved drain.
  • The total air conditioning must be installed in accordance with the manufacturers installation/commissioning instructions and comply with all relevant governing authority guidelines, by laws, coded and regulations and be installed by qualified personnel/trades only.
  • Any damage incurred to the Owners Corporation building/services during the installation process will be made good by the Owners Corporation and charged to the owner of the lot/apartment.
  • The Owners Corporation will not be responsible in any way for electrical supply, continuity of supply, water connections and/or supply of waste water drainage or preventative or emergency maintenance/service.


  • A commissioning certificate signed and dated by the qualified installer must be presented to the Owners Corporation on completion.
  • Most of these requirements are pretty straightforward. Compare can connect you with a reputable installation company who will help meet these criteria and provide plans for the body corporate to consider. Then you can schedule your installation with peace of mind, knowing that the technicians will have any information they need to get the job done without any objections.


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