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Understanding strata plans is essential for anyone involved in the ownership or management of strata-titled properties. These plans provide a detailed framework of how land is subdivided and are integral to navigating the complexities of property ownership within a strata scheme.

Strata vs. Survey-Strata Plans

In Western Australia, a strata plan typically involves the subdivision of a property into individual lots defined by the physical structure of buildings, including shared common property areas such as lobbies and gardens, commonly used for apartments and commercial buildings. In contrast, a survey-strata plan defines individual lots based on land measurements without reference to buildings, often used for standalone houses or townhouses with less common property, providing more autonomy and simpler management for lot owners. Strata plans generally require more coordinated management due to shared facilities, while survey-strata plans offer greater flexibility and independence to individual lot owners.

Strata Plan

A strata plan delineates the boundaries of individual strata lots, defined in relation to buildings depicted on the plan. These plans are vital for determining ownership, responsibilities, and rights within the scheme. A strata plan includes four main components:

  1. Floor Plan: This section shows the precise boundaries of each strata lot, including the height dimensions, which can be crucial in multi-level buildings.
  2. Location Plan: This plan places the buildings within the context of the overall parcel boundary, helping owners understand their property’s positioning.
  3. Record of Interests and Encumbrances: Lists any legal interests, easements, or encumbrances affecting the property, ensuring all stakeholders are aware of existing obligations or restrictions.
  4. Schedule of Unit Entitlements: Details the unit entitlements, which are used to calculate each lot’s share in common property, voting rights, and contributions to strata levies.

In a strata plan, common property is generally not separately identified. Owners must refer to the plan to distinguish between their lot and common property areas.

Survey-Strata Plan

Survey-strata plans, surveyed by licensed land surveyors, show lot boundaries without reference to buildings. These plans are particularly relevant for schemes where lots are primarily defined by land area rather than built structures. A survey-strata plan includes:

  1. Lots and Common Property: Clearly marked lots and, if applicable, common property identified by unique numbers.
  2. Record of Interests and Encumbrances: As with strata plans, this record details any legal interests affecting the property.
  3. Schedule of Unit Entitlements: Specifies the unit entitlements, which play a similar role to those in strata plans.

You can see examples of each of those here

Accessing and Understanding Your Strata Plan

To determine the specifics of common property and individual lots, it’s essential to review the strata plan for your scheme. You can obtain a copy of your strata plan from Landgate’s website for a fee. For a thorough understanding, it is advisable to consult a licensed land surveyor or contact Landgate’s Strata Enquiry Line at (08) 9273 7047. A professional surveyor can offer clarity on lot boundaries and common property specifics, which is particularly useful for resolving disputes or planning property modifications.

Scheme By-Laws

Scheme by-laws govern the use, administration, and management of the strata scheme. These by-laws are enforceable rules that impact the daily living and operation within the scheme. They can cover a wide range of issues, from noise restrictions to the use of common facilities. Scheme by-laws are available from your strata company or strata manager. Alternatively, you can order a copy online via Landgate’s website using the scheme by-law document number found on the last page of your strata/survey-strata plan.

Understanding your strata plan and by-laws is crucial for ensuring compliance and making informed decisions regarding your property.