Strata title, community association, Torrens title – what do they all mean? Whether you’re inspecting a beautiful apartment in Sydney or are trying to decipher some of your contract of sale paperwork, let’s demystify these terms now.
First up, a strata title is where a person owns their lot or unit but shares ownership and responsibility of common property such as the building exterior, stairways, elevators and swimming pools with other owners. You’ll commonly come across strata title when buying an apartment, townhouse or duplex. Owners belong to an ‘owners corporation’, which together manages and maintains these common facilities through regular owner payments known as strata levies.
Meanwhile, a Torrens title or freehold title refers to a purchase where the owner owns all of the land and property to the exclusion of all others.
A community association is somewhat similar to a strata title in that an owner owns their own lot and shares responsibility for common facilities on the property with other owners. However, a key difference is that a community association lot is typically defined by surveyed land measurements, rather than a space within a building.
In NSW, one of the main differentiations between strata and community association is the way the boundaries fall. Where a strata title might ‘carve up’ and share ownership within a building, a community association typically consists of two or more owners who own their own property and land, yet share common amenities such as a driveway. As such, community associations usually apply in the situations of gated estates and larger developments.
Each property type has its own advantages and disadvantages. The choice you make between a strata, Torrens/freehold and community association will ultimately depend on your circumstances, preferences and the quality of the community association management for that property.
What about community association management & strata title management?
There are several similarities between strata and community association management, including the use of regular meetings to decide how common property will be managed. However, there are some key differences between community association and strata title management in terms of insurance and maintenance. For example, with strata titles the owners corporation must have mandatory strata insurance to cover the building, while with community associations each owner will be responsible to insure their own property.
Aspects such as these are why it’s important to choose the right strata management team when it comes to choosing a strata manager. You can explore our services in detail, or contact us today to see how we can support your strata scheme with effective management.