If you have recently moved into a strata property or are a new committee member, you might be feeling overwhelmed by all the strata terminology. If so, we’re here to help you make sense of it all. Our strata dictionary will help you understand some of the common and complex industry terms, tailored for your state.
This guide is a free and easy tool to help committees and property owners actively participate in strata matters with confidence.
Commonly used strata terminology and their definitions
Property owners elect committee members to represent them on the owner’s corporation. Elections take place at each annual general meeting (AGM). They carry out a range of duties such as repairs and maintenance of common property. They must enforce by-laws and building laws.
A committee is also called:
- a strata committee
- managing committee
- management committee, or
- committee of management.
Common property is strata property areas that all residents or owners share. This may include foyers, driveways, fences, visitors parking and gardens. The owners corporation look after the maintenance of all common property. All property owners must contribute to the maintenance of common property.
A person can live in a residential building under company title. To do this, they must buy shares in an incorporated company or association that owns the building. These shares give the person the right to occupy and use specific areas or parts of the building. This can include exclusive access to a unit or apartment and car bay. They also have use of common areas of the building, such as a pool or gymnasium.
A common seal is a stamp displaying the strata plan registration number of the strata. When used, it indicates the owners corporations official agreement to do something.
An exclusive use area is an area of the common strata property that is only used by owners and residents. Exclusive use areas are usually outlined in the property by-laws and building rules.
Extraordinary/special general meeting
An extraordinary general meeting (AGM) is different from an annual general meeting. A committee holds these meetings to discuss things affecting all owners and residents.
A facilities manager is sometimes referred to as a building manager and can be appointed by the developer, strata manager, owners corporation, or body corporate. They are responsible for coordinating and overseeing the maintenance and safety of a building or common property. Check out this article for more information.
Levies are also called strata fees. They are monies paid by owners to cover the cost of running a strata property. Levies are usually paid quarterly and depend on the lot entitlement.
A lot is a part of land, buildings, and airspace on a plan of subdivision. It is separately owned and sold, e.g. an apartment or townhouse. Lots are parts of a building that are not common property, such as car spaces, storage bays, and storerooms.
A lot entitlement refers to an owner’s share of common property which determines their voting rights and share of expenses each lot owner is required to pay.
Lot liability is the proportion of owners corporation expenses an owner must pay.
Meeting minutes are the documented record of meetings of the owners corporation, committee, and any sub-committees showing the discussion had and decisions made.
Motion is a proposed decision that will result in an action or outcome once discussed and voted upon at a meeting or in a ballot. A motion can either pass or fail and the subsequent action/outcome is therefore known.
Office bearers are official roles on the strata committee. Office bearers represent the owners corporation in decision making. Office bearers can include chairperson, treasurer or secretary.
An owners corporation manages all strata property common areas and buildings. As an owner, you are part of an owners corporation. You have the right to have a say on how the owners corporation manages the property.
Proxy is a person who represents a lot owner/s at an annual general meeting (AGM). A financial owner can give their voting rights to another person who becomes their proxy.
Special levy is an extra financial expense paid by the property owners. These levies cover unexpected or underestimated expenditure.
A strata scheme or property is a parcel of land with a building (or buildings). Individuals own a part of the property, referred to as a lot. They may have common areas such as driveways, pathways, fences, external walls, and roof.
A strata scheme has at least two lots. Residents and commercial businesses can use these lots. Lots can be a vertical block of units (high-rise). They can also be all on the one level such as townhouses or commercial offices.
Strata roll is the register of the owners of every lot in a strata property.
A quorum is the least number of owners required for a meeting to proceed.