08 Apr 2024

Understanding How Strata Works in WA

In Western Australia, Strata Living has become increasingly prevalent as urban populations rise and land becomes scarcer. Whether you’re considering moving into a strata property or are already a resident, understanding how strata works is essential.

In this article, we’ll explore the basics of strata living in WA, including the laws governing it, the concept of strata living, the various types of strata, and what they entail.

What is WA Strata Law?

All registered strata properties in WA fall under the Strata Titles Act 1985 (STA), administered by Landgate on behalf of the Western Australian State Government.

The STA regulates the subdivision of land into strata titles schemes, the creation of strata titles, and the governance and operation of strata titles schemes.

This legislation outlines the rights, authority, and obligations of lot owners, occupiers, strata companies, strata councils, and strata managers. The Strata Titles Act 1985 and the Strata Titles (General) Regulations 2019 are accessible on the Western Australian Legislation website.

What is Strata Living?

Strata living involves individual ownership of parts of a parcel of land (known as lots) and shared ownership of other parts (known as common property).

Strata titles schemes are established as small, self-governing communities, operating democratically. Owners collectively decide on managing the parcel, including establishing and enforcing by-laws to regulate behaviour and maintain common areas.

Each lot owner has voting rights on scheme decisions and shares responsibilities for common property upkeep. Strata companies may engage strata managers to perform duties, subject to legal obligations and contractual agreements.

What are the different types of Strata?

  • • Strata Scheme: In a strata scheme, individuals own lots (e.g., apartments, villas) and share ownership of common property (e.g., external walls, foyers). Boundaries are defined by buildings shown on the strata plan.
  • • Survey-Strata Scheme: This scheme comprises lots with boundaries marked by a licensed surveyor, shown on the survey-strata plan. Unlike strata schemes, survey-strata plans don’t depict buildings, resembling freehold parcels of land.
  • • Single Tier Strata Scheme: In this scheme, no lot exists above another, meaning one lot’s floor can’t form part of another’s ceiling. Multi-storey blocks are only one tier, but two-storey units like townhouses or villas can be part of this scheme.
  • • Leasehold Scheme: Leasehold schemes involve fixed-term leases of 20 to 99 years. Lot owners are lessees, and the scheme owner is the lessor. Lessees have rights to deal with the land during the lease, such as selling lots without the lessor’s permission.

Understanding how strata works in WA is crucial for both current residents and potential buyers. The Strata Titles Act 1985 governs strata properties, ensuring fair treatment and effective management.

Strata living offers a unique community-based approach to property ownership, with various types of strata schemes catering to different preferences and needs.

Whether you’re navigating by-laws, participating in scheme decisions, or engaging with strata managers, being informed about strata laws and practices is essential for a harmonious living experience in WA.

For further information, Vicki Philipoff Settlements is here to help, feel free to contact us today!

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