Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ page). Below, we have tried to answer the most common questions visitors to this our Web site may have. If you find that your question is not answered on this page, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us during Business Hours at 08 9345 3522.
What is Strata Title?
Simply put, strata titles are a form of land ownership which allows for more than one lot to be created within a parcel of land defined in either two or three dimensions but most importantly providing for the creation of lot lot above or below another. The key here is that all lots are created within a single parcel of land.
The original legislation was bought about in response to a need to manage multiple ownership within a single piece of land, particularly with more than one dwelling on it e.g. a block of flats, group of townhouses, etc. Strata title allows the change of ownership of one clearly identifiable part of the whole parcel without the consent of all the other owners of the parcel, which is the main point of difference over other shared forms of ownership.
As the name suggests “strata” means layers placed one on top of another and in strata title terms means that a lot does not have to be on the ground but can be many floors up within a building.
The starting point for determining what is within a strata scheme is the strata plan which is lodged with Landgate to create the strata scheme. The strata plan shows, along with other important information, the following -
Of course this is a very brief overview of what strata title is. For more information on the subject Landgate has excellent information on the subject - refer to our Useful Links page.
What is the role of the strata manager?
Strata titled properties are quite similar to most other types of properties so why is strata management so different? The Strata Titles Act is the big difference of course and the implications for the management of the property are far reaching. In essence, the strata property management is the same as any other property with an additional two layers of compliance over and above most other property types. The lower level relates to the management of the legal body referred to as the strata company (running general owners meetings and strata council meetings, managing accounts and bylaw enforcement) and the upper level relating to the Strata Titles Act itself (covering such things as insurance, management, alterations to lots, entering into leases, etc. etc.)
A simple example of a burst pipe in a wall between two apartments - if the whole building is owned by one owner it is simple, you call a plumber, get the problem fixed and the owner pays the cost. The same scenario requires the strata manager to determine who is responsible which means being aware of where the pipe is located, where the lot boundaries are located, if there are any registered strata bylaws that could shift responsibility to either the owner of a lot or the strata company. The strata manager must also be aware that there are sufficient funds to pay for any works it commits to and that authority has been given to spend that money for a particular purpose.
What is a Strata Company?
This is the legally incorporated body that represents all the owners of the strata plan as constituted under section 32 of the Strata Titles Act 1985.
What is a Lot?
Simply - it is what you own.
A lot is the term used to define a portion of a strata scheme which is defined on the strata plan as being a lot or part of a lot. A lot has it’s own title that can be bought and sold.
It is very important to have clear understanding of where your lot boundaries are as these generally determine what you are responsible for and what the strata company is responsible for in the form of Common Property.
What is Common Property?
Common property is everything on a strata plan that is not part of a lot. Common property is owned by all proprietors in undivided portions determined by the unit entitlement allocated to each lot. All proprietors are equally entitled to the use and enjoyment of common property unless restricted by the grant of exclusive use rights, special privileges, leases, licenses or other legal agreement over defined parts or all of the common property. The use of common property may also be restricted through the bylaws of the strata company.
What are Unit Entitlements?
A licensed valuer determines the capital value of each lot and then determines the capital value of each lot in proportion to the total capital value for all lots and devises a schedule of unit entitlement that is attached to the strata plan. Unit entitlements determine not only share of ownership but also the level of contributions required towards strata company expenses, unless varied through a registered bylaw of the strata company.
Why do I have to pay levies?
How are the levies calculated?
What insurance cover do I need?