If you’ve just brought into or moved into a community strata management building you may be wondering what area of the lot is your responsibility and what area comes under the responsibility of the body corporate or strata management company. Much of this will depend on what state you have purchased in and they type of scheme that is run in the building or complex, however, many areas of responsibility are the same from state to state.
The strata management company will look after areas such as the pool, recreational facilities, bbq areas and digital signage Melbourne. They will also look after the maintenance and repair of any gardens or areas that fall into common property. Common property is where things can get confusing. In some complexes, you own the property from the road at the front of your unit through to the fence at the back of your unit; in others, you only own the unit and the land your unit is sitting on. In the situation of a mixed use strata management you may only own the unit and any balconies. However, common property is owned by all of the lot owners – each lot owner had an interest of ownership, but the strata management or body corporate is given the power to deal with common property and act as if they were the owner.
Depending on the scheme your building is under, and depending on how the buildings are built (separate standing or joined together), the body corporate may also have ruling over things like the gutters, any co-joining walls and stairwells or lifts. As an owner, this could mean your building insurance is covered by the strata management, as are any fixtures in the unit (especially if they are fixed to co-joining walls). It is always a good idea to obtain a copy of the strata management insurance policy so you know what is covered and what isn’t.
As a new owner of a unit inside the strata plan, there are two really important things you need to do. The first is to obtain building plans so you know exactly where your property is and where common property is. The second is to read the by-laws of the property – this will give you guidelines as to what you can and can’t do (paint the outside of the unit, make changes to the property, park in common property etc). By doing these two simple things, you will know what you can and can’t do and what you will need to get permission for. You will also be able to tell what you need to pay for if something goes wrong, and what costs the strata covers.
Living in a strata managed unit or building can provide good marketing option, but doing all your research before changing or amending anything in your unit can save you a lot of money and time on sorting out issues in the future.