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Common property refers to a type of property that is owned or used collectively by a group of people. It can include physical assets such as land, buildings or equipment, as well as intangible assets like intellectual property or natural resources. Common property is often associated with shared spaces like public parks, community gardens, or recreational areas that are accessible to all members of a community. One of the defining features of common property is that it is managed and maintained by the community rather than by individual owners or entities. This means that decisions regarding the use, upkeep, and access to common property are made through a collaborative process that reflects the needs and interests of all members of the community. In some cases, common property may be governed by a set of rules or regulations that ensure equitable access and use.

Common property can be an important resource for communities, providing access to shared amenities and fostering a sense of social cohesion and collective responsibility. However, managing common property can also be a complex and challenging task that requires careful planning, communication, and coordination among stakeholders. Overall, understanding the concept of common property can be useful for individuals and organisations involved in property management, community development, or environmental sustainability. By recognizing the importance of shared resources and the need for collaborative decision-making processes, we can work to build more resilient and equitable communities that are better able to meet the needs of all their members.

What are the legal rights associated with common property?

As a property owner in a strata scheme, understanding your legal rights and obligations regarding the common property is essential. Common property refers to the areas of the property that are shared by all owners, including the building’s exterior, driveways, gardens, and amenities such as swimming pools or gyms. Here are some of the legal rights associated with common property:

1. Access: All owners have the right to access and use the common property. This means that you can use the shared facilities and areas as long as it does not interfere with the use of other owners.

2. Maintenance: The Council of the Strata Company is responsible for maintaining the common property, and this includes repairing any damages, cleaning, and ensuring that the property is safe for use. Owners can raise a request for maintenance, but it is the responsibility of the Council of the Strata Company to organize and complete the repairs.

3. Alterations: As an owner, you cannot make any alterations to the common property without the approval of the Council of the Strata Company and a resolution. 

4. Voting: Owners have the right to vote on matters related to the common property. This can include decisions about maintenance, alterations, or any other matters related to the shared areas of the property.

5. Liability: Owners are responsible for any damages or injuries caused by their use of the common property. If an owner damages the property or causes an injury to another person while using the shared areas, they may be held liable for any costs. 

How is common property managed?

Common property refers to the shared areas and facilities within a strata scheme that are collectively owned by all owners. The management of common property is crucial to ensure the safety, functionality and aesthetics of the strata scheme. Here’s how it is managed:

1. By-Laws: Strata schemes have by-laws that outline the rules and regulations for the use and maintenance of the common property. These by-laws ensure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and obligations concerning the common property.

2. Strata Manager: A strata manager is responsible for supporting the Council of the Strata Company manage the common property on behalf of the owners. Strata Managers can ensure that the common property is maintained, repairs are carried out when necessary, and that any issues or complaints are addressed promptly upon council instruction. 

3. Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential to ensure that the common property remains in good condition. This includes cleaning, gardening, repairs, and any necessary upgrades.

4. Insurance: The strata scheme must have adequate insurance coverage for the common property. This includes building insurance, public liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance.

5. Annual General Meeting (AGM): The AGM is held annually, and it is an opportunity for owners to discuss and vote on matters concerning the common property. This includes the approval of the budget for maintenance and repairs, as well as any proposed upgrades or renovations.

What are the benefits of common property?

Common property in a strata scheme refers to the areas and facilities that are jointly owned by all lot owners in a particular strata scheme. These may include the building’s exterior, common gardens, parking areas, swimming pools, gym facilities, and other common spaces. As an owner in a strata scheme, you have access to a lot of common property features that you may not have access to as an owner of a green titled property, eg. a swimming pool, for a fraction of the cost. 

1. Cost-sharing: As common property is owned jointly by all the lot owners in a strata scheme, the cost of maintaining and repairing these areas is shared equally among them. This means that each owner pays a smaller proportion of the cost, making it more affordable for everyone.

2. Increased property value: Maintaining common property to a high standard can increase the value of all the individual lots in the strata scheme. This is because potential buyers are often attracted to strata properties with well-maintained common areas and facilities.

3. Access to shared amenities: Common property provides lot owners with access to amenities and facilities that they may not be able to afford on their own. For example, a swimming pool or gym may be prohibitively expensive for an individual owner to install and maintain, but when shared with other owners, the cost is spread out.

4. Consistency in appearance and maintenance: By having all the common property in a strata scheme maintained to a consistent standard, it ensures that the appearance of the development remains consistent and appealing to both residents and potential buyers.

Who is responsible for the maintenance of common property?

As a strata owner, it is important to understand your responsibilities when it comes to the maintenance of common property within your building or complex. Common property refers to areas or assets that are owned and shared by all strata owners, such as the lobby, hallways, elevators, and swimming pool. According to strata laws in most jurisdictions, the responsibility for the maintenance and repair of common property lies with the Council of the Strata Company. The Council of the Strata Company is made up of all the owners within the strata scheme and is responsible for the management and upkeep of the shared areas.

The Council of the Strata Company is required to develop a maintenance plan that outlines the ongoing maintenance and repair requirements for the common property. This plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it reflects the changing needs of the building and its occupants.To fund the maintenance and repair of common property, the Council of the Strata Company collects levies from all owners within the strata scheme. These levies are used to cover the costs of regular maintenance, as well as unexpected repairs or upgrades.

As a strata owner, it is important to understand your obligations when it comes to the maintenance of common property. You should ensure that you are up to date with any maintenance plans or schedules, and that you are contributing your fair share of levies to cover the costs of upkeep.

By working together with other owners within the strata scheme and the Council of the Strata Company, you can help to ensure that the common property is maintained to a high standard, providing a safe and comfortable