Are Strata Companies required to engage professional strata managers now the reforms in WA are law?
No, a strata company under the reforms are not required to engage a professional strata manager, it maybe in their best interest to do so, but they still have the right to self-manage.
Is it better to buy a strata property rather than a freehold property?
Both have their pros and cons. You must first establish what you require taking into consideration, your lifestyle, work commitments, financial parameters, family situation. One important dimension you need to consider, it that with strata, it is community living and living close to others. So getting along with people, is a very important element in deciding to buy into a strata complex.
What is a strata company?
Strata title allows shared ownership in a Strata company through owning part of the property called a lot. You own your lot, and together with a share within the rest of the property, which is called the common property. Your share is determined by the number of allocated unit entitlements (UE’s) as shown on your strata plan. These can be equal or vary. It is based on a percentage that your UE’s bear, to the total UE’s within your strata complex.
What do I own when I purchase a strata lot?
This is a complex question as it has many variations. With a Survey-strata plan (land based) you own the lot and all building within that lot.
However, with a strata plan (built strata) the ownership is multiple options. Briefly with strata you own airspace, but that can include the external walls and or surfaces of the building, it also can include part lots that can be away from your main lot area. It is crucial that you fully understand how to read the boundaries as shown on your strata plan.
What is the term "quorum" mean for an Annual General Meeting for a strata company?
A quorum under the Strata Titles Act is 50% of financial owners (i.e. levies fully paid at the time of the meeting) NOT 50% of owners.
Do all strata owners have to pay levies?
Yes, as the levies are required to cover the budgeted expenses of a complex, i.e. Insurance, common property maintenance, gardening, lift maintenance, pool cost etc.
The exception is a 2 lot strata (duplex) or if there is a by-law in place that exempts a 3, 4 or 5 lot single tier strata complex from paying levies.
In a strata company, who is responsible for the Insurance policies and premiums?
The strata company is responsible for both - premiums are part of your levies. In a built stratum which comprises your unit, the insurance policy would cover the replacement of your unit. It also covers common property and public liability insurance on common property. As a strata owner, your insurance policy would cover internal fixtures and fittings and public liability on your lot.
For insurance for a survey-strata, the strata company is only responsible for insurance on common property and each lot owner would need their own replacement policy for the unit/house that they have on their lot.
Who determines strata levies and how are they allocated to each lot owner?
Strata levies are established at each annual general meeting (AGM) and are based on the budget that the strata company at that meeting determines is adequate to maintain the strata for the following year. This is a majority decision of owners at that meeting.