Best Practice: Strata Titles
Strata or Community Title?
In South Australia, Strata Titles are assigned a number by the Lands Titles Office. All groups designated with a number less than 20,000 are Strata Titles eg: Strata Plan 1256. All those groups with a number equal or greater than 20,000 are Community Titles, eg: Community Plan 21453. To use this guide you will need to know the type of title you are interested in – Strata or Community.
A strata title is created by the division of a structure into separate units. The boundaries of a unit are defined by reference to the structural divisions in a building, not by reference to the land. There must be an area of common property,for which the Strata Corporation (all owners) are responsible. The law concerning strata titles is outlined in the Strata Titles Act 1988.
A community title is created by the division of land into lots. The boundaries are in reference to land, not in reference to buildings. There is an area of common property, for which the Community Corporation (all owners) are responsible. The law concerning community titles is spelt out in the Community Titles Act 1988. Some Community Titles are designated a Strata Division. These have a vertical boundary such as in a block of 2 storey flats with 1 unit above another. The Community Corporation owns and maintains the buildings – similar to strata titles. In these cases the boundaries include reference to buildings. Remember that all groups with a plan number equal or greater than 20,000 are Community Titles (link to Best Practice Community Titles).
Prior to the Strata Titles Act in the 1960s multiple occupancy took the form of:
- Company Titles: The Company owns all of the property and what you are buying are shares and a lease that give you the right to occupy a certain apartment or unit.
- Moiety Titles: A moiety title, typically covering maisonettes or attached cottages, means that the person owns a share of the whole of the land and leases a defined portion of the land for himself or herself from the other owner or owners.
A small number of these titles still remain. If you are and owner in one of these titles or looking are looking to purchase one, we strongly recommend you seek professional advice from the Real Estate Institute Adfvisory Service, a Conveyancer or a Lawyer.