For many, owning a strata and community titled property is a new experience. For those of you new to the strata world we have listed a few common strata terms and definitions that we hope will help you along the way. Please note that this information has been compiled and written in plain English to give a basic understanding and should not be relied on as professional or legal advice.
A strata scheme is a parcel of land with a building(s), where individuals each own a portion referred to as a lot (unit). These buildings have common property but are not limited to areas such as driveways, pathways, fences, external walls and roof. A strata scheme can have a minimum of 2 lots and can be used for residential or commercial purpose or a mixture of both. A strata scheme can be a vertical block of units (high rise) or it can be all on the one level such as townhouses or commercial offices.
The plan that subdivides the land and building(s) of a strata scheme into lots and common property.
A strata company is a body corporate which consists of all the owners of the lots within the strata scheme. A strata company comes into effect when the strata plan is registered.
The common property is the area on a strata plan that is not included in any lot. The common property is the responsibility of the strata company whose obligations include maintaining and repairing the common areas.
Lots and Part Lots
In a strata scheme, a unit is referred to as a 'lot'. Car spaces, garages, laundries, balconies can also form part of a lot or they can be a part lot.
A proprietor is an owner, i.e. a person(s) or company that purchases a strata lot (unit) and is registered on the certificate of title through Landgate (a.k.a. Department of Land Information)
Council of Owners / Council of Management
This is a group of people elected at each Annual General Meeting who represent the Owners of the Strata Company. The council carries out the duties of the strata company, including the control, maintenance and repair of the common property. The council also has the responsibility of enforcing the bylaws.
The by-laws are a set of 'rules' that the proprietors and occupants in the strata scheme must follow. These can be changed at a general meeting of the strata company. All by-laws are not the same so it is prudent to ensure you obtain a copy of the current by-laws for your strata scheme.
An Annual General meeting that is held within 15 months of the previous general meeting. Notice of the meeting must be given to all proprietors not less than 14 days prior to the meeting.
Levies are contributions paid by owners to the strata company to cover the proposed expenditure of the strata company. Levies are usually paid quarterly and are based on unit entitlement. Levies can only be raised by the owners at a general meeting.
Reserve fund levy
This is a levy contribution that is raised and set aside to cover future contingent expenses of the strata company, e.g. painting, roofing and entrance gates.
The strata management company must prepare and keep a list that records the proprietors' name, address and address for issue of notices.