What is strata?
Strata is a block of land divided into lots (ie units, townhouses or apartments with or without land) and has common property (ie shared driveways, service infrastructure).
How do I know if my unit is part of a strata scheme?
You can look it up on the List: https://www.thelist.tas.gov.au/app/content/property/property-search# (it is free to sign up. Click on “more” and type in your address), or you can contact a strata manage (fees may apply).
How do I know what I own and what is common property?
The strata plan sets this out. You can purchase your strata plan off the List:
https://www.thelist.tas.gov.au/app/content/property/property-search# (it is free to sign up).
Click on “more”, then type in your address. Once you have found your property, click on “Select Products to find it.
What is a body corporate?
A body corporate is an entity that is automatically created when a strata plan is registered. It holds the common property in trust for the lot owners.
Am I a member of a body corporate?
If your unit, townhouse or apartment is part of a strata scheme, you are automatically a member of the body corporate – it’s not optional.
How should body corporate expenses be shared?
This is set out in the strata plan. All expenses are to be shared in proportion with the “Unit Entitlements” which are shown on the last page of the strata plan.
What are my body corporate’s legal obligations?
The Strata Titles Act 1998 requires your body corporate to do the following:
What are the by-laws?
There are model (default) by-laws or bespoke by-laws. They set out your rights and obligations, and the obligations of the body corporate. The model by-laws are part of the Strata Titles Act 1998, and bespoke by-laws may be written by the body corporate or their representative.
Can I have pets?
It depends on your by-laws. The model by-laws don’t allow pets without body corporate approval which means that in most strata schemes, you can’t have pets unless you get approval.
How do I find my by-laws?
First check the List: https://www.thelist.tas.gov.au/app/content/property/property-search# (it is free to sign up).
Click on “more”, then type in your address. Once you have found your property, click on “Select Products” and see if there is a Change of By-laws.
If there is, you can purchase them. If there isn’t, the model by-laws apply, and you can find them in the Strata Titles Act 1998 (schedule 1 – scroll right to the bottom):
How do I insure my unit, townhouse or apartment?
The Strata Titles Act 1998 requires your body corporate to insure the entire site on one policy of insurance, for the cost to rebuild the buildings and improvements if there is a total loss. The body corporate is also required to have public liability insurance. Strata insurance is a competitive and comprehensive way of insuring your strata scheme. We recommend that you use an insurance broker or a strata manager to put strata insurance in place.
How will we know how much to insure our strata scheme for?
Find a good insurance valuer with professional indemnity insurance to do an “Insurance Valuation” report.
Can I take out my own insurance?
Only at your own peril. Some insurers issue home and contents policies to owners of units, townhouses or apartments which don’t actually cover the body corporate, strata units or the common property. The other risk is that your fellow owners may be uninsured. If they have a major uninsured loss and can’t afford to repair or rebuild their unit, townhouse or apartment, the value of your property will be negatively affected. Also, if each owner has their own insurance, your body corporate will be in breach of the Strata Titles Act 1998.
What if this is all too hard?
Find a good strata manager.