Owning a strata company home
What is a strata company?
A strata company is the name given to the body who manages the common ownership aspects of a multi-unit development.
Why are they required?
Strata companies are required to provide owners and residents of a multi-residential property with an un-biased third party to ensure that the amenities of the property (such as the rooftop pool at Quayhouse) are maintained well to the benefit of all residents. They are able to provide legal advice on dealing with disputes and ensure that the best value is delivered to the owners.
What do they do?
The strata manager is appointed on behalf of the strata company as a main point of contact for residents and owners. Residents pay one annual or quarterly fee and as a result the strata company and manager will ensure that their property is well maintained and to ensure that owners achieve capital growth on their investment. The types of tasks a strata manager will undertake is arranging garden and rooftop maintenance, maintenance of the pool, paying any common property utilities, and negotiating and paying insurance for the building.
What do I own in a strata managed property?
Purchasers of apartments within a strata managed property own everything within their lot, excluding the common property.
What constitutes common property?
Common property refers to the areas of a strata building or community which every resident or owner shares such as, external walls, windows, foyers, driveways, fences, visitors parking and gardens. This means the maintenance and repairs of these areas is usually the responsibility of the strata company, unlike a house where all internal and external maintenance is the sole responsibility of the homeowner.
What is included in the Strata Fees?
- Building Maintenance
- Building Insurance
- Maintenance of common areas
- Any communal electricity, water or council rates
- Sinking fund costs (a pool of savings to utilise should any extraordinary expenses arise)
Is there a risk that my Strata Fees will increase over time?
Just as the cost to own and maintain a free standing home increases over time, so will strata fees. The job of the strata manager is to negotiate on behalf of the strata company and owners to ensure the best price and value is obtained for items such as insurance, fees and maintenance needs.