What is a strata scheme?
A strata scheme is a building or collection of buildings that has been divided into ‘lots’. Lots can be individual units/apartments, townhouses or houses. When a person buys a lot, they own the individual lot and also share the ownership of common property with other lot owners. Common property generally includes things like gardens, external walls, roofs, driveways and stairwells.
Strata living can provide a friendly community-style environment but differs from living in a freestanding house.
It is important for you to be aware of the additional and different responsibilities and responsibilities that apply to living in a strata schemes if you are considering purchasing a lot in a strata scheme. Some activities may be more restricted than if you were living in a freestanding house – for example, where you can park your car or how you can renovate your lot.
Some strata schemes sit within the ‘umbrella’ of a community scheme. As the name suggests, a community scheme is essentially a community containing a number of individual strata schemes. Each scheme is managed individually, and also has representation on the community scheme committee, which manages shared spaces such as community halls and parks.
All strata schemes are depicted in strata plans. The strata plan is a subdivision of a parcel of Real Property land into separate lots and common property. Strata plans differ from conventional subdivisions in various ways:
- all lots are defined as a cubic space and must be limited in height and depth.
- every strata plan must have a building on the parcel.
- the lots are defined on the floor plan by the building or other permanent structures within the parcel.
- everything within the parcel which does not form part of a lot is common property.
- it is the responsibility of the owners corporation to maintain and repair common property.
- the owners corporation is a body corporate of all of the lot owners in a scheme.
- each lot in a strata plan is allocated a unit entitlement based upon its value relative to the other lots in the scheme. The unit entitlement represents that lot’s share of the common property.
Generally, community schemes support a variety of different land uses (houses, apartments, gym, shops, golf course) within the one complex. Community schemes operate in much the same way as strata schemes, having lot owners, common property, owners corporations and by-laws.
What is a community title scheme?