You are welcome to contact us if you have any questions about strata schemes and strata management or you may find the answer you need among the frequently asked questions below.
How involved is WA Strata Management in running our strata scheme?
Since WA Strata Management listen to your needs and customise your strata management strategy, you can decide how much or how little involvement you would like from your strata manager. Continually offering you consistent quality management through a range of regular services and special services, WA Strata Management consult with you to find out your requirements and ensure the smooth running of your strata development.
Where can I find out more about Strata Title ownership?
You are welcome to contact our team if you have questions about Strata Title ownership and you can also find out more about the strata sector, strata community living, regulations governing strata communities and owners rights from the SCA (Strata Community Australia).
What exactly is a strata scheme?
Residential strata schemes or property developments provide for grouped housing with a community feel and style of living. Housing units in the strata scheme are individually owned. Shared services like gas, electricity and water along with shared facilities like swimming pools, parking or a gym are more cost effectively maintained through a system of shared levies paid by all individual owners. Strata schemes and community title developments are also practical for industrial and commercial ventures. You are welcome to contact our team for detailed information on various types of strata schemes in your neighbourhood.
What are the obligations of strata housing lot owners?
The obligations of strata housing lot owners may vary according to those agreed by a strata scheme’s council. In general, the main obligations are to:
- pay rates, taxes and strata levies.
- notify the Strata Company and Strata Manager of changes in ownership or occupancy.
- adhere to the strata scheme’s by-laws.
- behave in a manner that does not cause offence to other residents.
- obtain consent from the Strata Company as well as the local authority (if required) prior to carrying out alterations to their individual lot.
For more information on the obligations of lot owners, you are welcome to contact us.
What are the obligations of lot owners intending to lease their lot?
The obligations of strata housing lot owners intending to lease their lot may vary according to those agreed by a strata scheme’s council. In general, the main obligations are to:
- ensure a tenant’s compliance with the scheme’s by-laws is a condition of their lease.
- provide the tenant with a copy of the strata scheme’s by-laws.
- notify the Strata Company and Strata Manager of changes in ownership or occupancy.
- notify the Strata Company and Strata Manager of the name of the tenant, the date the tenancy commences and the name of any property agent if applicable.
For more information on the obligations of lot owners intending to lease their lot, you are welcome to contact the WA Strata team.
What are the duties of the Strata Company?
The Strata Company (previously called the Body Corporate) is automatically created upon registration of the strata plan/survey-strata plan when the Strata Titles are issued. No action by the owners other than holding the first annual general meeting is required to form it and all lot owners are automatically members of the Strata Company. Some of the main duties of the Strata Company are to:
- enforce the by-laws.
- financially control and manage the common property for the benefit of all members.
- consistently keep in good order the common property including fittings and fixtures connected to the common property.
You are welcome to contact us for a detailed description of the duties of a Strata Company.
What are the duties of the owners’ council?
It is often impractical for all owners to participate in the daily running of a strata scheme and this is recognised in the Strata Titles Act of 1985 as amended. A council of owners is elected to run the Strata Company and carry out the duties associated with running, record-keeping and properly maintaining the strata scheme. If there are three or less owners, the council consists of all owners and alternatively, a council may consist of three to seven owners charged with carrying out duties as agreed for the benefit of all owners, without favour and without acquiring any privileges not enjoyed by all members.
To ensure that the duties of the strata scheme are carried out and shared investments are managed efficiently, it is vital that an effective council is elected. Employing an independent Strata Manager often eases the burden on the owners’ council as Strata Managers are dedicated to carrying out some of the duties required of the owners’ council as efficiently as possible while receiving instruction from the owners’ council and taking good care of the company records. To find out more about how a Strata Manager can assist you in the daily running of your strata scheme, you are welcome to contact our team.
I am unhappy with our strata scheme management, what can I do?
As a member of the Strata Company for your strata scheme, you may approach the owners via the annual general meeting or an extraordinary general meeting, to air your grievances and request the employment of a Strata Manager who will be responsible for running your strata scheme. A dedicated and qualified Strata Manager will maintain Strata Company records to the required standards and keep common property in good order more effectively.
As an individual, you may also apply to the State Administrative Tribunal to have the matter resolved if you are unhappy with your strata scheme management. If the decision is made to terminate your existing strata management services, ensure a new strata management service provider is appointed to guarantee a seamless transition. WA Strata Management is a registered member of a number of real estate and strata management industry associations. You are welcome to contact us to find out more about the strata management services we provide to Strata Companies and developers of new strata schemes.
What does a Strata Manager do?
Strata managers are employed by the owners’ council to carry out some of the duties of the Strata Company. The Strata Manager may be an individual or a company who works alongside the owners’ council to make sure the strata development is optimally maintained in a consistent and sustainable way. The Strata Company vests authority in the Strata Manager to perform a variety of regular services and special services related to the ongoing care of common property and the financial accountability of common funds.
What part of a strata scheme is common property?
As a result of changes in the Strata Titles Act and the various ways in which strata plans are prepared, a number of common property / individual ownership scenarios have been applied to strata developments. In many cases, some parts of the individual housing lots are common property and in other instances some parts of the land outside the individually-owned lots form part of their owned portion.
There are significant differences between strata schemes created before 30 June 1985 in accordance with the Strata Titles Act and strata developments after 30 June 1985 when it became possible to own buildings and outside areas. Thereafter following 20 July 1997, further changes came into effect pursuant to the Strata Titles Amendment Act of 1996. For more detailed information on Strata Title legislation and how this may affect the divisions of land and buildings within your strata scheme, please contact us. We are happy to help you navigate the legalities related to the division of land in your strata development.
How are levy contributions determined in a strata scheme?
Levy contributions may be determined by a by-law particular to a specific strata scheme or more generally be raised in accordance with Unit Entitlement as it is set by a Licensed Valuer. The Unit Entitlement will show the relative proportion of each owner’s share in the strata scheme. The owners within a Strata Company usually base the levy contributions on the Strata Company budget and determine the levy amounts at an owners’ general meeting.
From time to time, owners may raise special levies, for example, to cover the costs of regular painting or the upgrading of shared facilities within the common property as required. Increases in levy contributions may also be agreed in response to rising basic services costs or shared insurance premiums.
The cost of living in strata schemes is generally more affordable than living on a freehold property. Basic services and most maintenance requirements can be more cheaply secured and owners may realise significant time and cost savings, particularly when a Strata Manager is employed to take care of maintenance requirements, daily management of the Strata Company and financial record-keeping. Contact our team to find out more about how our Strata Director/Managers can help you streamline your strata scheme management.
Are there rules that govern the behaviour of strata scheme owners?
Yes, at the founding general meeting for a strata development, by-laws are agreed upon to set out permitted behaviour and to prevent behaviour that may cause offence to other owners. These by-laws generally cover safety and security measures, any areas where use is restricted, the keeping of pets, parking, garbage disposal, behaviour, architectural guidelines and landscaping techniques to be observed by lot owners.
Special by-laws may be created appropriate for the type of strata scheme and the nature of common property or shared facilities. WA Strata Management are experienced in assisting owners’ councils with setting up by-laws taking into consideration their legal aspects and custom requirements for a strata scheme. You are welcome to contact us for assistance.