If you’re confused about strata title management, rest assured you’re not alone. With many variations in strata law terminology across the different Australian states and territories, it can be hard to keep up.
Strata Community Australia is pushing for a more uniform approach to integrate the current strata terms, which reflect the piecemeal way strata law has developed in Australia.
In the meantime, read our jargon buster to wend your way through the strata maze. For simplicity, we will select the main terms used by Strata Community Australia.
Within the strata, each owner owns an individual lot (an apartment or townhouse, for instance) with every owner sharing ownership of the common property – driveways, footpaths, grounds and facilities.
The owners corporation is the collective body that manages the apartment and it is made up of all the lot owners.
It has different names in different states:
- Owners Corporation: Victoria, NSW and ACT;
- Body Corporate: Queensland and Tasmania;
- Strata Corporation: SA;
- Strata Company: WA;
- Corporation: NT.
Lot owners may be elected to the owners corporation committee at the annual general meeting. There are several different terms used to describe the committee. The committee votes on recommendations to maintain the smooth running of the apartment complex. Again, it has different names in different states:
- Committee: Victoria, NT and Queensland;
- Executive Committee: NSW and ACT;
- Managing Committee: SA;
- Committee of Management: Tasmania;
- Council: WA.
The strata manager is vital, carrying out body corporate management to ensure the entire strata complex runs smoothly, efficiently and legally.
- Manager: NT, WA, Tasmania and ACT.
- Strata Managing Agent: NSW.
- Body Corporate Manager: Queensland.
- Owners Corporation Manager: Victoria.
- Agent: SA.
The strata scheme itself has different names in different states, according to the Australian Property Law Journal. It is known as a strata scheme in NSW, SA, WA and Tasmania. In Queensland it is known as a Community Title Scheme, while being classed as a Unit Title in NT, a Unit Title or Community Title in ACT, and a Subdivision, Strata Subdivision or Cluster Subdivison in Victoria.
The owner can be known as unit owner in SA and ACT, and proprietor in WA.
Whatever the terminology, every strata complex in Australia needs some form of body corporate and body corporate manager. While some complexes choose to self-manage, the majority opt for experienced strata management to ensure their scheme runs safely and cost-effectively.