What is a Strata Title?
A Strata Title has 'common areas' that can be used by all of the people living in the apartment block, such as driveways, gardens and the like. These common areas have to be maintained by all of the unit owners collectively, through a Body Corporate. The individual owner is solely responsible for the upkeep of the inside of their property. Properties such as townhouses or units are the most common types of Strata Titles.
It is important to note that Strata Titles are governed by the Strata Titles Act 1998 (referred to in this article as the ‘Act’).
How is the Body Corporate created?
A Body Corporate automatically comes into existence when the strata is registered at the Titles Office.
What are the insurance requirements of the Body Corporate?
The Act requires the Body Corporate to take out and maintain insurance for all buildings and other improvements that form part of the Strata together with public risk insurance over the common property.
A failure of the Body Corporate to insure gives a lot owner the right to:
What are by-laws?
By-laws are the rules that a Body Corporate makes to control and manage:
A Body Corporate can choose to adopt the model by-laws that are set out in the Act or it can make its own.
The model by-laws will automatically apply unless the Body Corporate makes and registers its own by-laws with the Titles Office.
Can a lot owner keep a pet on their strata lot?
This depends on the by-laws of the Body Corporate. The model by-laws provide that the written approval of the Body Corporate is required for a lot owner to keep animals on a lot or on common property.
If the Body Corporate has made their own by-laws then a lot owner will need to check the by-laws as to whether or not animals can be kept.
What powers does a Strata Manager have?
Strata Managers only have the powers that are given to it by the Body Corporate. It is good practice to ensure that any agreement between the Strata Manager and the Body Corporate is put in writing in a formal agreement. This should reduce the risk of arguments as to the powers and duties of the Strata Manager.
A Strata Manager carries out their duties at the direction of the Body Corporate and/or a committee of management appointed by the Body Corporate.
What are the consequences of breaching by-laws?
If an owner or occupier of a lot or the Body Corporate fails to comply with a compliance notice, the Registrar of Titles may impose a maximum fine (currently $5,000).
How do you become a member of the Body Corporate?
An owner of a lot automatically becomes a member of the Body Corporate when the transfer of the lot is registered by the Recorder of Titles.
Who must be notified when a meeting of the Body Corporate is to be held?
At least 7 days written notice must be given to each member of the Body Corporate. The notice must set out the date, time and place of the meeting, the nature of business and any unanimous resolutions to be put to the meeting.
Can a lot owner lease their lot?
Yes, a lot owner is entitled to lease their lot. However, the by-law may contain restrictions on the terms of any lease. For example, a by-law may impose a minimum term (not exceeding six months) for the letting of lots.
Where can you get further information about strata titles?
This article is a guide only, if you require specific advice you should consult a lawyer.
If you own or are thinking of buying a strata title in Tasmania and need advice please contact us on 03 6332 9353 or use our Contact Us form - http://www.cormistonlegal.com.au/contact
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