What is a Strata Scheme
A Strata Scheme is a building or collection of buildings that has been divided into “lots”, these can be individual units / apartments, townhouses or houses. This entity is called an Owners Corporation.
What do I actually Own
The difference in owning a house and a unit in a Strata Scheme (Lot) is that the external walls, Floors, and roof does not belong to you as these are deemed common property, which means the Maintenance and repair of these parts of the building are the responsibility of the Owners Corporation to upkeep and maintain.
Who is responsible for repairs
A lot owner is responsible for repairs and maintenance for anything contained within the cubic space of their lot.
What is an Executive Committee and who can be elected
An Executive Committee is a group of Owners elected at the Annual General Meeting each year. They act as a representative in the daily management of the Strata Scheme. Lot owners and company nominees of lot owners may stand for election to be a member of the Executive Committee. Non-owners may be nominated by Lot owners to stand.
What are By Laws
By Laws are a set of rules specific to each and every Strata Plan. All lot owners / residents and their guests must abide by when on the common property. These such By Laws address matters like Noise, Parking of Vehicles and the Keeping of Animals.
What is a Quorum
A quorum means that a minimum of 25% of financial lot owners must be present at a General Meeting. If a Quorum is not achieved then the meeting is adjourned. At Executive Committee Meetings 50% of members are required to run the meeting.
What is an Administrative Fund
An Administrative Fund is for the payment of everyday expenses for the management of the Strata Scheme. These include cleaning of the common property, gardening, and the payment of the Strata Schemes Insurance.
What is a Sinking Fund
A Sinking Fund is for the payment of future capital expenses such as Painting of the interior and exterior of the Complex, replacement of the common property carpet, installation of CCTV and replacing common property.
What Happens if I have a disagreement with the Owners Corporation
If you are unhappy with the way the rules are being applied you can talk to an Executive Committee Member, raise it as a motion at the next General Meeting or contact the governing body ie NCAT and the Office of Fair Trading.
What does a Strata Manager do
Strata Manager are engaged by the Strata Schemes Owners Corporation to manage the day to day running of the Strata Scheme and as Strata Schemes are becoming larger and larger as more and more people downsize from houses into Units, the Strata Manager provides assistance on financial management of the Strata Scheme, Insurance, administrative support, maintenance and contract support of common property and advise on the legal requirements for the running of the Strata Scheme.
Is a Smoke Detector Common Property
If the smoke detectors are stand alone and are not connected to a fire board in the building then they are Owners Responsibility, otherwise they are Owners Corporation.
Are door locks considered common property
Only the original lock or its subsequent replacement is the responsibility of the owners corporation. However if any additional locks are installed, they are the responsibility of the owner. If the owner replaces the original lock with a lock that prevents the door complying with fire certification, if the owner refuses to replace it with a complying lock, the owners corporation can replace the lock and charge the owner as a debt.
What are Levies in a Strata Scheme and who Pays them
Every Strata Scheme provides regular Strata Levies, which are collected quarterly from all Lot Owners.
The levies collected are deposited in the Strata Schemes Trust Account and is then used for the upkeep and maintenance of the Strata Scheme. These levies are determined each year at the Annual General Meeting.