FAQs Strata

Some Strata terms explained

What is Unit Entitlement?  


The Unit Entitlement is determined by the Quantity Surveyor at the commencement of a strata plan.  U/E’s often vary from one lot to another, in a strata complex, due the perceived difference in value of units.  The U/E determines several things including a lot owners voting rights, contribution towards levies, share of common property and more.   


What is common property?  


Common property is everything on a strata plan that does not form part of a Lot.  Common property is often the common driveway and front gardens in a complex.  Each Lot owner will own an undivided share of common property in accordance with their Unit Entitlement. 


What is a Strata Company?  


The Strata Company consists of each and every lot owner. 


What is a Council of Owners?  


The Council of Owners must consist of either ALL Lot owners or 3 to 7 Lot owners being elected to the Council of Owners.  


Can I make improvements to my property?  


Yes, owners are encouraged to improve their own units, but they must apply by the rules set out in both the Strata Titles ACT and the Management Statement.  The Management Statement is a set of rules set down by the owners for the benefit of all owners and occupants. 


What do I own in the strata?  


Ownership is dependent on the type of Strata Plan and also the way the Strata Plan is set up at the beginning.  In a Survey Strata Plan, for example, A Lot owner owns everything within their lot including the brick and tiles, fixture and fittings, carports, gardens etc.  In a group of high-rise units, the Lot owner will only own the internal space within the unit and not the building itself. 


What happens at a strata meeting?  


An agenda is most often produced and send to all Lot owners prior to the meeting.  The matters discussed include, the minutes of the previous meeting, the income and expenses during the previous 12 months, a budget for future expenditure and a budget for future levies.  “General Business” is where all other matters can be discussed often including comments on parking, gardening and general behaviour of occupants. 


Why do I have to pay strata levies?  


Smaller strata complexes (5 or less) can opt out of the normal strata regime and not hold meetings or charge strata levies.  In these instances, owners would have to take out insurance for their owner unit and contents.  They’d also have to take care of their share of common property as there would be no fund with which to pay and common bills.  Most complexes 5 and more therefore must run an administrative fund for common area expenses.  These expenses often include, managing agent’s fees, building insurance, common water and power, gardening, pest control etc. 


What are by-laws?  


By-Laws set down the expected behaviour of occupants within a strata complex.  They determine such things as the use of common areas, if pets are allowed, drying laundry, kids playing, noise, parking and how meetings will run. 


Can I have a pet?  


Yes!  Unless a lot owner receives a written notice from the Council of Owners advising that pets are not allowed.  That ruling must be obtained at a duly convened meeting of the strata owners where a motion has been passed.


What is a proxy?  


A proxy is referred to as both a Form and a Person, someone who can attend a meeting of the strata company on behalf of a lot owner.  They then have the rights for voting that that lot owner would have had if they were able to attend the meeting.  A Proxy most commonly can be any natural person whether or not they are an owner in the complex.  It is possible for one person the be the proxy for several lot owners at the one meeting.