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Strata Title For Beginners

By July 26, 2019 August 10th, 2019 No Comments

What is Strata?

If you have just bought, or are thinking of buying a Strata Title property and want to know more about what it means then this quick overview is for you.

What exactly is Strata?

Strata title allows individual ownership of part of a property, enabling you to buy a “lot” within a “Strata Company“. You own the lot as well as a share in the “common property“.

Strate Title properties can be:

  • Apartments
  • Units
  • Townhouses
  • Commercial Offices
  • Factory Units
  • Retirement Villages
  • Caravan Parks

And many others.

What do I own in a Strata Title?

There are different types of Strata Title properties (information about yours can be found in your Strata Plan). In its simplest form, when you own a property inside a Strata Title, you own everything inside your property and a share of the common property

The common property may include:

  • The swimming pool
  • The gym
  • The sauna
  • The foyer
  • The lift
  • The actual building structure itself
  • The basement car park
  • The gardens
  • The vehicle access gates

The maintenance of your common property, such as the above, is done so by your Strata Company.

What is a Survey Strata and what do I own?

Survey-Strata is very different from Strata title even though they are governed by the same Act. Within a Survey-Strata scheme, ownership of a lot is essentially a parcel of land within the scheme.

Buildings are not shown on a Survey-Strata plan and the only common property that exists, is marked as a Common Property. More information on Survey Strata.

The Common Property is maintained by the Strata Company. 

What is a Strata Company?

The term ‘Strata Company’ in Western Australia refers to all of the owners within a particular complex. Collectively, all the lot owners form the Strata Company. When purchasing a lot on a strata titled property, you become part of that Strata Company. A Strata Company is bound by The Strata Titles Act 1985 which imposes duties and functions that must be adhered to.

Why am I paying my Strata Company?

When you buy a strata property you will be required to pay a certain amount to your Strata Company commonly called a “levy” which is generally issued each quarter.

This levy is used for the maintenance and upkeep of the common property.

These levies are to raise fund to pay for things like:

  • Building insurance
  • Maintenance and upkeep of the common property
  • Electricity used for the common areas
  • Rubbish Removal
  • Gardening

The value of the levy has to be agreed by the majority of the owners at a general meeting and is calculated based on your unit of entitlement as a proportion of the total unit of entitlement for the Strata Company.

What other rules are there in Strata?

As a Strata Title owner you will be required to abide by the Strata Company by-laws and Strata Company rules which are in place to ensure that every owner and occupant experiences peaceful enjoyment of their lot and the common property.

You can read these in your strata plan.

If you want to have a say in how the Strata Company is managed you should always attend the general meetings and if inclined become a Council member as they are delegated the authority to carry out the functions of the Strata Company.

What is a Strata Management Company / How does ESM help?

The Strata Management Company refers to a business which provides Strata Management services to strata companies. ESM is a Strata Management Company.

Strata Management Companies will perform various functions on behalf of the Council of Owners such as collection of levies, secretarial services, administrative services, & chairing meetings etc. A Strata Management Company is a point of contact to help & advise the Council of Owners on strata related issues.

What is a council of owners?

A Council of Owners (COO) is a group of between 3 & 7 lot owners who are elected to be on the Strata Company’s Council at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The Council perform the functions of the Strata Company (eg – communicating with owners, leasing with the Strata Management Company, issuing work orders) until the next AGM. The Council of Owners are the first point of contact for the Strata Manager and for the other lot owners.

The Strata Manager works closely with the Council of Owners to ensure the smooth running of the complex, by making decisions & keeping the Council of Owners informed about issues within the complex.