Strata & Stratum

Does Your Development Require the Guidance of a Strata Lawyer?

Strata Title is a form of property ownership.

Strata schemes usually consist of a number of units or lots in a building. Each unit is separate and has its own title, while common property is shared by all unit owners.

There are specific rules and relationships associated with this kind of property ownership, such as:

  • By-laws, which govern the behaviour of owners in certain situations; and
  • Strata levies, which are required to be paid regularly by owners for the upkeep of the building and the use and maintenance of common property areas.

Our highly knowledgeable strata lawyers can help you navigate the unique, and at-times complex, considerations involved in strata and stratum titles.

A Strata Lawyer Can Advise You on Various Structures

Strata schemes may be used for residential units, commercial suites, retail spaces, or mixed use developments.

Developments that intend different areas of a building or piece of land to be used in different ways could benefit from a plan known as stratum subdivision. Assume a developer wishes to construct three buildings on one parcel of land, for example, with one building reserved for residential units and the others intended for commercial use. This situation would be suitable for a stratum subdivision.

Even if a single building is intended for mixed use, where the ground floor is reserved for commercial use and the other floors contain residential units, a stratum subdivision plan may apply.

This plan defines different uses within a building or piece of land, but unlike a strata scheme, a strata subdivision does not create an owner’s corporation or collect levies, among other things.

A stratum subdivision brings a number of advantages, such as ease of management, practicality and business efficacy. But various rules apply. Gavel & Page strata lawyers bring the necessary knowledge to advise you on the most appropriate structure for your property and the skill to draft relevant documents, such as strata and building management statements.

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How to Regulate the Use of Buildings and Shared Facilities

Wherever a stratum plan is registered on a piece of land, a strata management statement (SMS) is required.

A SMS regulates the management of the building(s) and shared facilities, such as elevators, stairs and fire safety equipment. It is important that all parties who share the use and maintenance of these facilities understand their respective rights and responsibilities.

For example, consider a parcel of land containing buildings A, B and C, where buildings A and B are separate strata plans and building C is not a strata plan. Buildings A, B and C would no doubt share certain facilities, such as lifts, garage roller doors, insurances, walkways and lobbies. The development, then, would need a document regulating when and how each building may use the facilities and how much each building should contribute to repair and maintenance costs. In this case, an SMS would need to be registered with the stratum plan.

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