The 4 most common strata property types
Did you know that not all strata properties are managed in the same way? There are several types of strata properties in Australia, each with its unique administration and maintenance needs. The service your strata management provider delivers may vary quite a bit, depending on your property type.
These are the four main types of strata properties you’re likely to come across in Australia:
Strata title properties are generally multi-tiered buildings with many individual units or lots as well as communal spaces. They may feature facilities including but not limited to driveways, gardens, gyms, pools, and lifts.
While these amenities may increase the quality of life of residents living in the strata property, they may also increase the need for largescale hands-on maintenance to stay immaculate, safe and compliant.
Strata insurance is mandatory for strata title buildings. It covers the building, all common property areas managed by the owners corporation, and public liability as well.
Strata properties all have mandatory compliance requirements, which committees must action each year. Click here for an explanation of these requirements.
When it comes to strata properties, unit or lot entitlement boundaries are determined using as building’s structural aspects like walls and ceilings.
All strata property owners must pay levies that go towards the property’s maintenance, upkeep and repairs. A nominated portion of these will go to the administrative fund, which is used for regular upkeep and administrative matters. The rest will go toward the capital works fund, sinking fund or maintenance, which can be drawn on for repairs, emergencies and upgrades.
All owners also automatically become voting members of the owners corporation. Strata properties are generally managed by a strata committee of two or more lot owners, on behalf of the owners corporation. Most strata committees engage a strata management provider to assist with the management of the property. They can also choose to delegate some of their powers to a strata management provider.
Experienced strata management providers such as Body Corporate Services are able to provide high-quality service, become an extension of seamless community living and be dedicated to the property’s care and functionality.
Community titles strata properties are generally multi-tiered or multi-dwelling properties that span large areas. They may feature communal facilities including but not limited to driveways, gardens, gyms, pools, and lifts.
While these amenities enhance community living, they may also increase the need for largescale hands-on maintenance to stay immaculate, safe and compliant.
As community titled properties generally have several buildings spread across a great deal of land, boundaries are generally determined by surveying last measurements. Buildings are generally considered one lot or unit and are mostly individually owned.
Unlike with strata title properties, community titles properties are not required to have common insurance for each building — the owners themselves are responsible for ensuring the building they own.
All community title owners are required to pay levies to go towards the upkeep and maintenance of the community title property. They also automatically become voting members of the community association, which is responsible for the upkeep of all common areas on the property including common land.
The community association may elect a community scheme committee, which becomes responsible for managing the property. And a strata management provider is usually appointed too, to assist with strata management.
You’ll find that some strata management providers — including Body Corporate Services — are well-known for managing community title strata properties and are even able to offer onsite building management, should your property require it. Such providers may be able to offer your committee the specialised service your strata property needs, all the while utilising their technical knowledge and expertise, building strong relationships with the committee and going above and beyond to service your property.
Company title is an older form of land title that predates community title. When it comes to company titled properties, a company owns the land and the buildings on it, and individual owners are shareholders who are entitled to exclusive occupation of a designated space.
Shareholders do not technically own any land or airspace as owners do in strata schemes. Instead, they are shareholders within the company that owns all land, common areas and airspace.
Company title management requires an in-depth understanding of corporations law and business management due to its governing frameworks. It is among the most complex to manage effectively and can be a highly litigious property ownership area.
Company titled buildings are generally between 50 to 100 years old, and may require extensive maintenance and works. Renovating company titled properties is highly complex, and whether the cost sits with the company or the individual shareholder is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
If your property falls under company title, it may be best to secure the services of a strata management company that has this very specific skill set and knowledge base, such as Sydney Company Title Management.
Having a professional manager onboard to navigate decision making and interpret constitutions and house rules may minimise disputes and make processes more straightforward. The provider should also be able to make sure meetings are being held appropriately, ASIC is being updated with any company changes and the constitution is being interpreted correctly by directors and shareholders.
Building management committee (BMC)
BMCs are mixed-used developments. These strata properties can be large-scale sites with multiple apartment towers, shopping centres, offices and commercial car parks within the one structure. They can sometimes include just one or two retailers underneath smaller boutique apartments, forming the modern culture and lifestyle hubs that are easy and convenient.
This could mean all occupants of the property — both residential and commercial — share facilities, including but not limited to points of entry and exit, bathrooms, parking spaces, foyers and corridors, lifts, gardens and outdoor areas, loadings docks, electrical infrastructure, fire safety infrastructure and insurance obligations. These shared facilities may require management across repairs, maintenance, expenses and meeting legislative requirements.
Such strata properties can be highly complex and differ significantly in their layout. If your property is a mixed-use development, your committee may need to seek out an experienced mixed-use strata management provider, such as Dynamic Property Services, that can give your building the individualised advice and care it needs. The right strata provider may make requirements such as official schedules and the division of costs for shared facilities straightforward and easy to navigate.
Your property may fall into a different category to the ones mentioned above — perhaps you live in a retirement village or leasehold title property. If so, it is important to carefully consider your property type’s unique needs and engage a strata provider who can successfully service it while working closely with the committee and owners corporation.
Need more advice?
We hope this page has answered your questions about strata property types. If you need more information, we’re always here for you at PICA Group.
We’re Australia’s leading property services provider, with more than 200,000 lots under management and a complete range of services delivered by a network of local businesses.
From strata and facilities management to legal services, debt recovery and developer services, we’ve been helping strata committees to lighten their workload and increase their property values for many years now.
If your strata committee doesn’t have the time, expertise or resources to manage your property the way you’d like, we’re happy to offer as much or as little assistance as you need. To talk with an expert member of our strata management team regarding strata management services available to you, simply fill out the form on this page and we’ll be in contact with you soon.