LawStrata and Property

Common Property in a Strata Scheme

By 11 May, 2021 No Comments

Under the Strata Titles Act 1985 (WA) (Strata Titles Act), common property in a strata scheme is:

  1. the part of land that does not form part of a lot within the scheme; and
  2. temporary common property.

In Western Australia, common property within a strata scheme is owned by all of the lot owners in undivided portions which are determined by the unit entitlement of each lot. The owner of a lot cannot separately deal with or dispose of their share of common property.

Temporary Common Property

With a view of increasing the common property of the scheme, a strata company may accept a lease of a lot within the scheme or nearby land. The land then becomes common property for the term of the lease and the responsibility of the strata company. Once the lease is registered with Landgate, a notation will be included in the scheme plan stating that the leasehold land is common property for the term of the lease.

Responsibility for Common Property

A strata company is obliged to:

  1. control and manage the common property for the benefit of all owners of lots; and
  2. keep in good and serviceable repair, properly maintain and, if necessary, renew and replace –
  • the common property, including the fittings, fixtures and lifts used in connection with the common property; and
  • any personal property owned by the strata company.

Role of Council Members

Generally speaking, the functions of the strata company are to be exercised by the council of the strata company (Council Members).[1] Accordingly, decisions in relation to common property and compliance with the strata company’s obligations can generally be made by the Council Members by a simple majority resolution. These powers may be varied or limited by the by-laws of the strata company, and some exceptions do apply.

When the Council Members are acting in accordance with their obligations, all that is required for works to be carried out on the common property is for the relevant expenditure to be included in the budgets approved at a general meeting of the strata company.[2]

If you have any questions relating to the common property within a strata scheme, or about strata more generally, please don’t hesitate to contact our Jason O’Meara on (08) 6188 3311 or at jason@pragma.law.

The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice and should not be used as such. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular matters.

[1] Strata Titles Act 1985 (WA), s 135(1).

[2] Laffin v Renouf [2016] WASAT 48.