Understanding Strata Titles, How It Works and Fees

Whether you’re a property investor or owner-occupier, understanding strata rules, fees, and responsibilities is important.

Strata ownership is a unique form of property ownership that allows individuals to own a portion of a larger property complex, while sharing responsibility for its maintenance and management with other lot owners. Whether you’re a property investor or owner-occupier, understanding strata rules, fees, and responsibilities is important.

What is strata?

Strata, also known as strata title or strata scheme, is a legal ownership arrangement primarily used in multi-unit residential properties. It allows individual ownership of a specific "lot" within a larger property complex (for eg: apartments, townhouses, or even individual houses in some cases).  

In addition to owning their individual lots, strata property owners also share ownership of common areas and facilities within the property. Commons areas include:

  • Gardens
  • Hallways
  • Elevators
  • Parking lot
  • Recreational areas.

How does strata work?

Lot owners within a strata property are members of an organization called the ‘owners corporation’ or ‘body corporate’. The owners corporation will hold regular meetings and are responsible for:

  • Managing and maintaining the common property
  • Making financial decisions
  • Obtaining insurance for the entire strata scheme

What are strata fees?

Strata Fees or Levies

To fund the maintenance and management of the common property, the owners corporation collects fees or levies from each lot owner. These fees are typically paid quarterly, and can vary widely based on factors such as:

  • Property's age
  • Amenities
  • Ongoing maintenance requirements.  

Sinking Fund and Special Levies

In addition to regular strata fees, there may be special levies or contributions for specific purposes. For example, if major maintenance projects are needed (e.g., replacing a lift or repainting the building), a special levy may be imposed.  

A sinking fund may also be established to save for future capital works and repairs.

If you’re interested in purchasing a property that’s part of a strata title, here are some factors to consider.

This article is intended to provide general information only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Please consider seeking financial advice before making any decision based on this information.‍

Unloan is a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Applications are subject to credit approval; satisfactory security and you must have a minimum 20% equity in the property. Minimum loan amount $10,000, maximum loan amount $10,000,000.

Unloan offers a 0.01% per annum discount on the Unloan Live-In rate or Unloan Invest rate upon settlement. On each anniversary of your loan’s settlement date (or the day prior to the anniversary of your loan’s settlement date if your loan settled on 29th February and it is a leap year) the margin discount will increase by a further 0.01% per annum up to a maximum discount of 0.30% per annum. Unloan may withdraw this discount at any time. The discount is applied for each loan you have with Unloan.

There are no fees from Unloan. However, there are some mandatory Government costs depending on your state when switching your home loan. For convenience, Unloan adds this amount to the loan balance on settlement.

* Other third-party fees may apply. Government charges may apply. Your other lender may charge an exit fee when refinancing.

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