Understanding Strata




Commonly used strata terms and their definitions.

An Annual General meeting held by the Owners Corporation.

Body Corporate
Another term for Owners Corporation.

Body corporate managers
Another term for strata managers.

A set of 'rules' that the proprietors and occupants in a strata scheme must follow. These can be changed at a general meeting of the strata company. All by-laws are not the same so you should obtain a copy of the current by-laws for your strata scheme. Also called Articles or Rules.

Responsible for the administration of an owners corporation. They are a group of owners elected at each Annual General Meeting who represent all the lot owners of the strata scheme, and carry out the duties required. These include the control, maintenance and repair of the common property. The committee also has the responsibility of enforcing the bylaws. Also called an executive committee, managing committee, management committee, committee of management, or just the committee.

Council of Owners / Council of Management
Other terms for an owners committee.

Common Property
Common property refers to the areas of a strata building or community which every occupier or owner shares, including foyers, driveways, fences, visitors parking and gardens. The common property is the responsibility of the strata company whose obligations include maintaining and repairing the common areas.

Executive Committee
Another term for Owners Committee.

Levies are contributions paid by owners to the strata company to cover the proposed expenditure of the strata company. Levies are usually paid quarterly and are based on lot entitlement.

A portion of a property that can be separately owned and sold. In a strata scheme, a lot is generally an apartment or townhouse.

Lot liability
The proportion of the owners corporation expenses that a lot owner is required to pay.

Managing Committee/Management Committee/Committee of Management
Other terms for Owners Committee.

An owner is a person(s) or company that purchases a strata lot and is registered on the Certificate of Title.

Another name for a strata owner.

Reserve Fund
Another name for a Sinking Fund.

Sinking Fund
Also called a Reserve Fund. Levies paid into this fund cover the costs of future capital expenses, such as painting the building, and replacing common property items like stairwell carpeting and roofing.

Strata Manager
Professionals who administer owners corporations, and are responsible for maintaining their buildings and common areas. Also called body corporate managers, strata managing agents, managers, and agents, depending on the state or territory. They report to the owners committee.

Strata Scheme
A strata scheme is a parcel of land with a building(s), where individuals each own a portion referred to as a lot. These buildings have common property but are not limited to areas such as driveways, pathways, fences, external walls and roof. A strata scheme can have a minimum of 2 lots and can be used for residential or commercial purposes or a mixture of both. A strata scheme can be a vertical block of units (high rise) or it can be all on the one level such as townhouses or commercial offices.

Strata managing agents
Another term for owners strata managers.

Strata Plan
The plan that subdivides the land and building(s) of a strata scheme into lots and common property.

Torrens Title
A system of land ownership whereby a government's Land Titles Office records and documents all ownership of property. For land to be transferred or sold, particular documents must be filed at the Office. Torrens Title was first introduced in South Australia by Sir Robert Richard Torrens in 1858 with the aim of improving on the old English land law system which was very complex, time consuming and expensive, and has been subsequently adopted by other Australian states and around the world.

Property that is Strata Title is also Torrens Title and any transfer of ownership must also be registered with the Land Titles Office. Torrens Title registers the horizontal division of the piece of land only, while Strata Title also includes cubic air space which allows the building to be divided above and below ground, allowing for parts of it to be owned by different owners. Any part of the building not forming part of any apartment forms the Common Property and is owned by the owners corporation.