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Subdividing a property in Western Australia is a significant decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. Among the different methods available, survey strata subdivision stands out for its efficiency and flexibility. Before embarking on this journey, it’s essential to understand the process and what it entails within the framework of the amended Western Australian Strata Titles Act. Let’s delve into the key considerations for property owners contemplating subdivision.

Understanding Survey Strata Subdivision

Survey strata subdivision involves dividing a parcel of land into individual lots and common property within a designated area. Unlike green title subdivision, which typically results in larger lots with full ownership rights, survey strata allows for the creation of smaller lots with shared ownership of common areas. This method is commonly used for residential, commercial, and industrial developments, offering property owners greater flexibility in land use and development.

Key Considerations for Survey Strata Subdivision

  1. Defined Boundaries. Survey strata requires precise demarcation of boundaries for each individual lot, ensuring clarity and accuracy in property delineation.
  2. Creation of Lots and Common Property. Property owners must understand the process of creating individual lots with exclusive ownership rights, as well as common property shared by lot owners. Common property may include access roads, driveways, and recreational facilities.
  3. Strata Plan. A strata plan is a crucial document that formalizes the subdivision, outlining lot boundaries, common property, and applicable by-laws. Property owners must ensure compliance with regulatory requirements when preparing and lodging the strata plan.
  4. By-laws and Regulations. Subdivision is subject to the provisions of the Western Australian Strata Titles Act, which govern the creation, registration, and management of strata schemes. Property owners must familiarize themselves with by-laws governing the use and management of the strata scheme.
  5. Scheme Administration. Upon registration of the strata plan, a Strata Company is established to manage the common property and enforce by-laws within the scheme. Property owners become members of the Strata Company and are responsible for contributing to maintenance and upkeep through levies.

Compliance with the Amended Strata Titles Act

The amended Western Australian Strata Titles Act provides the legal framework for survey strata subdivision, outlining procedures and requirements involved in the process. Property owners must ensure compliance with surveying standards, approval processes, by-laws, and governance provisions specified under the Act.

Benefits and Implications of Survey Strata Subdivision

Survey strata subdivision offers several benefits, including flexibility in lot creation, cost-effectiveness, efficiency in the subdivision process, provision of shared amenities, and fostering a sense of community among lot owners. However, property owners must weigh these benefits against potential implications and obligations associated with subdivision, such as compliance requirements, ongoing maintenance costs, and governance responsibilities.

Common Property in Survey Strata Subdivisions

In survey strata subdivisions, common property plays a crucial role in facilitating shared amenities and services among lot owners. Common property refers to areas within the strata scheme that are not allocated as individual lots but are owned collectively by all lot owners. These areas are managed and maintained by the Strata Company for the benefit of all members.

Types of Common Property:

  1. Accessways and Roads. Common driveways, pathways, and access roads within the development are often designated as common property. These areas provide essential access to individual lots and shared facilities.
  2. Recreational Facilities. Amenities such as parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, and barbecue areas may be designated as common property for the enjoyment of all residents. These facilities enhance the quality of life within the development and promote community interaction.
  3. Landscaped Areas. Common landscaped areas, including gardens, lawns, and communal courtyards, contribute to the aesthetic appeal of the development and provide green spaces for residents to enjoy.
  4. Utilities and Services. Infrastructure such as water, gas, and electricity supply lines, as well as telecommunications networks, may be installed within common property areas. Maintenance of these utilities is typically the responsibility of the Strata Company.

Management and Maintenance:

The management and maintenance of common property areas are the collective responsibility of all lot owners within the strata scheme. The Strata Company, comprising elected representatives from the lot owners, oversees the upkeep of common property and ensures that it remains in good condition for the benefit of all residents.

Usage and Restrictions:

While common property is accessible to all lot owners, certain restrictions may apply to its use to ensure the safety, enjoyment, and harmony of residents. By-laws governing the use of common property may stipulate rules regarding noise levels, pet ownership, parking, and the installation of structures or modifications.

Contributions and Levies:

Maintenance and repair costs associated with common property are funded through levies imposed on all lot owners by the Strata Company. These levies are determined based on the annual budget, which covers expenses such as landscaping, utilities, insurance, and ongoing maintenance of shared facilities.