Strata properties – like apartment units, some townhouses, or residential flats – are immensely popular especially in places like Sydney, where there’s a shortage of space. Living in a property that is part of a Strata Scheme is a little bit different from living in a free-standing house, and from time to time we get questions about what living in a Strata Scheme means.
To start off with, while you own your unit or apartment, ownership of the building itself is shared between the other owners in the building. Collectively, all of the owners form the “Owners corporation”, which has responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the building and the common property to the building (such as gardens, parking areas, stairwells, the roof, and lifts).
The Owners Corporation makes decisions about things like employing a Strata Manager, about budgeting for repairs and maintenance, paying council rates and fees, insurances, paying utility bills, collecting the maintenance costs from the other owners, or for setting down rules to keep the peace (such as pets or noise rules), or rules to increase (or maintain) the value of the property (such as graffiti, hanging laundry, or things like that).
While it is not compulsory for you to attend owners corporation meetings, it’s commonly thought that a strata scheme operates better if everyone participates.This co-operative way of managing the property however may not be for everyone and we are aware that sometimes things get heated between members of the owners corporation.
If you are interested in purchasing Strata property you can order for a pre-purchase strata inspection report, that allows you to have a look at the records of the owners corporation. Once you have that information you can make a better decision about moving forward with your purchase.