If you're considering purchasing a property that's strata titled, it's important to understand what that means. In this article, we'll explore the definition of strata, who owns the land in a strata title and the pros and cons of owning property this way.
We'll also take a look at some Queensland-specific strata legislation and how to go about strata titling a duplex in our state.
A strata title is a type of property ownership in which a building or complex is divided into units that are owned individually, but common areas are jointly owned by all the unit owners. For example, in an apartment block, each apartment owner would own their own unit, but they would share ownership of the lobby, corridors, lifts and other common areas.
This will make a strata tile different from other types of ownership, such as freehold or leasehold.
If you're not sure whether a property is strata titled, you can check with the relevant state or territory authority. In Queensland, this is the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
The land on which a strata titled property is built is usually owned by the body corporate. The body corporate is a legal entity that represents all the owners of units in the complex. It's responsible for maintaining the common areas and managing the building.
The body corporate is usually overseen by a committee of owners who are elected at the annual general meeting. The committee has the power to make decisions about how the strata scheme is run, within the framework set out in the legislation.
There are both pros and cons to owning property under a strata title.
Some of the advantages include:
- increased security, as strata titled properties often have gated access or security measures in place
- access to shared facilities such as swimming pools, gyms and barbecue areas
- easier maintenance, as the body corporate is responsible for common area upkeep.
However, there are also some disadvantages to consider, such as:
- higher fees, as you'll need to pay levies to the body corporate for common area maintenance and insurance
- less privacy, as you'll be living in close proximity to your neighbours and may have to share facilities with them
- more rules and regulations to follow, as the body corporate will have its own bylaws that owners must adhere to.
Under Queensland law, Strata titled properties are governed by the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the BCCM Act). This Act sets out the rules and regulations that apply to bodies corporate in our state.
One of the key purposes of the BCCM Act is to "provide for the fair and democratic management of bodies corporate". This means that, as an owner in a strata scheme, you have certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to the running of your complex.
For example, you have the right to:
- be a member of the body corporate
- attend and vote at general meetings
- inspect the books and records of the body corporate
- receive notice of special general meetings.
You also have responsibility for:
- paying levies to the body corporate
- complying with the bylaws of the scheme
- not causing a nuisance to your neighbours.
If you're thinking of strata titling a duplex in Queensland, there are a few things you need to do first.
Firstly, you'll need to engage a qualified surveyor to prepare formal strata plans for the property. These plans will need to be approved by the Queensland Office of Fair Trading (OFT) before you can lodge a application for strata title with the Land Title Registry.
Once your application has been lodged and accepted, you'll be issued with a certificate of title which will show that the property is now strata titled.
At this point, you'll need to set up a body corporate for the property. This can be done by either appointing a managing agent, or by following the OFT's self-managing guide.
Once the body corporate is established, you'll need to register it with the Office of Fair Trading.
There are a few reasons why you might want to strata title a duplex.
Firstly, it can provide increased security for both owners and tenants, as strata titled properties often have gated access or security measures in place.
Secondly, it can make maintenance and upkeep easier, as the body corporate is usually responsible for common area upkeep.
And finally, it can give owners access to shared facilities such as swimming pools, gyms and barbecue areas.
You don't necessarily need a lawyer to strata title a duplex, but it's always a good idea to seek legal advice before embarking on any major property transaction. A lawyer can help you navigate the process and ensure that everything is done correctly.
The cost of strata titling a duplex will vary depending on a number of factors, including the size and location of the property.
Generally speaking, you can expect to pay a few thousand dollars in professional fees, as well as a lodgement fee to the Land Title Registry.
You may also need to pay for things like pest and building inspections, and strata scheme insurance.
Strata titling a duplex can provide increased security and easier maintenance for both owners and tenants. It's a good idea to seek legal advice before embarking on the process, and expect to pay a few thousand dollars in professional fees and lodgement costs.
This is general information only, and does not constitute legal advice. For more detailed advice, please contact a lawyer.
Thanks for reading.