To make decisions about your Strata, it is important to have a reasonable understanding about who owns what within a Strata Scheme. Section 4 of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 contains the relevant definitions about who owns what within a Strata building.
Common property means any part of a parcel that is not comprised in a lot (including any common infrastructure that is not part of a lot). To understand this definition, we need to understand the following definitions.
A parcel means ‘in relation to a strata scheme, the land comprising the lots and common property in the scheme, or in relation to a plan lodged for registration as a strata plan, the land comprised in the plan.’
A ‘lot’ means ‘one or more cubic spaces shown as a lot on a floor plan relating to the scheme, but does not include any common infrastructure unless the common infrastructure is described on the plan, in the way prescribed by the regulations, as a part of the lot.’
common infrastructure means:
- the cubic space occupied by a vertical structural member of a building, other than a wall, or
- the pipes, wires, cables or ducts that are not for the exclusive benefit of one lot and are:
- in a building in relation to which a plan for registration as a strata plan was lodged with the Registrar-General before 1 March 1986, or otherwise-in a building or in a part of a parcel that is not a building, or
- the cubic space enclosed by a structure enclosing pipes, wires, cables or ducts referred to in paragraph (2).
The responsibility to maintain common property is an absolute one. The Owners Corporation not having enough money, the maintenance cost being considered as too expensive or the owner affected by the damage having levy arrears are not sufficient reasons to delay maintenance to common property. Further information on this topic is covered here.