Common property – it sounds pretty straight forward doesn’t it?
But it’s not quite as simple as it seems, and that can become a bone of contention when it comes to repair and maintenance and determining who pays for what.
Each state defines Common Property a little bit differently, so we’ll give you an overview and a link to your state’s legislation for a more detailed explanation.
New South Wales
In a strata scheme (an Owners Corporation), everyone shares ownership of the ‘common property‘, such as external walls, foyers and driveways.
The lot owner owns the inside of the unit but not the main structure of the building. Usually the four main walls, the ceiling, roof and the floor are common property. The basic rule is that everything inside a lot is the owner’s property which includes all internal walls, fixtures, carpet and paint on the walls.
Areas of common property boundaries of each lot are generally formed by:
Common property can include such things as:
Victoria defines common property as including any parts of the land, buildings and airspace that are not lots on the plan of subdivision. It may include gardens, passages, walls, pathways, driveways, stairs, lifts, foyers and fences.
The common property is collectively owned by the lot owners as ‘tenants-in-common‘.
Under the Owners Corporation Act 2006, your Owners Corporation must repair and maintain:
Queensland has a number of different types community title schemes which are slightly different.
The only way to be certain as to whether something is Common Property or not, is to find the Community Management Statement for your Community Titles Scheme.
Community Titles Schemes are registered under a plan of subdivision. This is recorded as a survey plan. The survey plan shows the boundaries of the common property and the lots in that scheme.
You can do that through the Titles Registry Office.
There are several types of survey plans. Boundaries are defined differently depending on the type of plan registered. The two common types of survey plans are:
In a Building Format Plan scheme, the Body Corporate is usually responsible for maintaining:
In a Standard Format Plan scheme, the Body Corporate is usually responsible for maintaining:
Do you have a question about Body Corporate communities, Owners Corporations and Strata living? SSKB is Australia’s leading strata management company, specialising in delivering expert advice and management to Owners Corporations and Body Corporate communities.