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  • Writer's pictureAbode Strata

Back to Basics

Due to continuous queries received, I have decided to share some of the most common, reoccurring questions and provide the answers that I think people need to know whilst being a part of strata living.

Basic information has also been provided which although extremely simple are the fundamentals of the business and without fully grasping these it can be difficult understanding the bigger picture when it comes to moving forward to more complex matters.

What is a building?

STA Part 1 – Preliminary 3

Means a building or buildings shown on a strata scheme

What is common property?

“Common property” means — 

(a) So much of the land comprised in a strata plan as from time to time is not comprised in a lot shown on the plan

(b) Any leasehold interest acquired by a strata company under section 18; and

(c) The lot or lots shown on a survey‑strata plan as common property

What is a Strata Titled Lot?

“lot”, in relation to a strata scheme, means one or more cubic spaces forming part of the parcel to which a strata scheme relates, the base of each such cubic space being designated as one lot or part of one lot on the floor plan forming part of the strata plan, plan of re‑subdivision or plan of consolidation to which that strata scheme relates, being in each case, but subject to section 3AB, cubic space the base of whose vertical boundaries is as delineated on a sheet of that floor plan and which has horizontal boundaries as ascertained under subsection (2), but does not include any structural cubic space except where —

(a)  The boundaries of the cubic space are fixed under section 3AB; or

(b)  The boundaries are not so fixed and that structural cubic space —

(i)    Has boundaries described in accordance with the regulations; and

(ii)   Is shown in that floor plan as part of a lot; Lot, in relation to a survey‑strata scheme, means land that is shown as a lot consisting of one or more parts on the plan for that scheme, but does not include -

(a)  A lot shown as common property; or

(b)  Land shown as being set aside for a road or reserve

Does the strata company have to keep copies of building plans, and if so for how long?

Regulation 25 (2) (c) STGR relates to “material delivered under section 49(3) by an original proprietor to a strata company at its first annual general meeting.

The term is LIFE

Are their different management issues in a strata scheme and survey -strata schemes if so what are they and, how would you identify these?

Yes there are different management issues between the two;

Lots in a strata scheme, show buildings and are one or more cubic spaces, they may be entirely internal cubic space, incorporate any part of a building structure, include external space within the parcel boundaries, and restricted use of any part of the parcel. The common property is any part of the parcel NOT within the lot.

A strata company can acquire or lease land contiguous to the parcel as additional common property and can dispose of, or grant a lease over common property. The unit entitlement may change dependent upon the increase of capital value improvements.

Lots in a survey strata scheme show no buildings, Lots or part lots, meaning that there is no need to alter unit entitlement should a new building be erected, lots are defined by survey information and show the area in square metres, the use of any part of the parcel can be restricted, common property is any part of the parcel numbered as a lot.

To obtain more information on this, refer to the Strata plan, survey or strata scheme listed - lots or buildings shown.

What is the difference between a “green” and strata title?

Green titles don’t exist anymore, they are all blue. Titles to Freehold land were referred to as “Green” titles because the pretty picture was coloured green on the sketch.  Generally there is one Title for the land unless there is an additional Title issued indicating a proportionate share for the same piece of land.

A freehold title is for ownership of the land defined by the Lot number and Survey Number. Theoretically the proprietor of the land owns everything from the surface down to the centre of the earth (subject to Crown imposed depth limits and mineral reservations) and upwards into the heavens above (again subject to State and Commonwealth Limitations).

 A Title to a Strata lot is a Title representing one or more cubic spaces forming part of the parcel to which a strata scheme relates. Survey Strata lots represent one or more lots on a plan but don’t include ownership of common property.

For more information refer to definition of “Lot” in Section 3 STA 1985.

A Strata Titled property enables subdivision of land and makes it possible for the issuing of more than one individual title in respect to a single piece of land.

Under what circumstances would you recommend changing the address for the service of notices on the strata company ………what process would be required?

In instances such as change of authorised contact person for the strata company, change of strata manager etc. STA-Section 40.

(1)  A strata company may, in general meeting, resolve that the address registered by the Registrar of Titles for the service of notices on the strata company, shall be changed.

(2)  Where — 

(a) A strata company has under subsection (1) resolved that the address for the service of notices on it shall be changed;

(b) Notice in the prescribed form (Form 17) of the change of address has been lodged in the office of the Registrar of Titles; and

(c) The Registrar of Titles has made such record with respect to the change of address as he considers appropriate,

The address for service of notices on the strata company shall, notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, is the address so recorded.

What is the fourth matter which would be determined by unit entitlement?

Capital value in a strata scheme

What are the various types of strata company ownerships in WA?

Green title, Strata Title, Survey strata title, purple title, Company Title- a Company title is not a common title; the Company (Pty Ltd) owns the land and the owners of lots in a high rise building buy shares in the Company (like Unit Entitlement). This becomes the proportionate vote at the company shareholders AGM. These are not governed by the STA but by corporations law. An owner of a unit, car bay if allocated and any other house rules (just like By-Laws).  

When buying property - how would you make yourself aware of any use or other restrictions applicable to Lots or common property... what must be considered?

Refer to copy of the current strata plan & By Laws/ management statement that have been lodged as identified on the Strata Plan; Items of consideration would be the date of scheme, adopted a management statement and /or other By Laws.

© Liz Florence, Abode Strata Management

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