Glossary of Strata Terms

Definition of commonly used terminology

 

Aggregate Unit Entitlement

The total of all the individual lot unit entitlements in a strata scheme.

Adjudicator

Appointed under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996, to assist in settling disputes and other matters as determined by the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.

AGM

Annual General Meeting (held by the Owners Corporation).

BMC

Building Management Committee. Formed to enable multiple strata plans to occupy a single building space and share common facilities. How the various entities interact in these schemes is set out in a document called the Strata Management Statement.

By-laws

A set of rules for all owners and occupants of a strata or community scheme.  These rules are designed for the control, management, use and enjoyment of common property and individual lots.

Certificate Of Title

A title deed issued by Land and Property Information NSW to prove ownership of a lot. The owners corporation is also issued with a title deed for the common property.

Common Property

Areas of a strata building or community which do not form part of a lot and that every occupier or owner shares. Common property may include gardens, fences, driveways and visitor parking. See our related article on Common Property.

Company Nominee

A person, authorised by a company in writing, to vote at meetings on the company’s behalf.

Covenant Chargee

A person who holds an agreement over a property which imposes certain obligations.

Exclusive Use

A special right granted to an owner to use a part of the common property, at the exclusion of other lot owners.

Initial Period

Upon registration of the strata plan, the owners corporation is formed and the scheme enters into the initial period. The scheme continues in the initial period and expires on the day when the sum of lot owners, other than the original owner, exceed one-third of the aggregate unit entitlements.

Levy

An amount of money set by the owners corporation according to unit entitlements, which has to be paid by lot owners. Levies contribute to the operating and long term expenses of the strata scheme.

Lot

A portion of a property that can be separately owned and sold. In a residential strata scheme, a lot is usually an apartment or townhouse. In some cases, garages, laundries, marinas, etc. can also form part of a lot.

Lot Property

Lot space within a strata scheme is commonly defined as; “the cubic air-space contained within the inner surface of the boundary walls, under surface of the ceiling and upper surface of the floor”.

Mortgagee

A person or company who lent money to a person to buy a property. The property is mortgaged to the mortgagee in case the person who borrowed the money does not repay it.

Ordinary Resolution

Most matters considered at general meetings require an ordinary resolution. This means that at least half of those present (either in person or by proxy) who are entitled to vote must vote in favour of the motion.

Owner

A person(s) or company that buys a lot and whose name is shown on the Register at Land and Property Information NSW and is recorded on the strata roll.

Owners Corporation

The legal entity consisting of all the owners of the lots in a strata scheme. It is formed when a strata plan is registered. Each lot owner is automatically part of the Owners Corporation and has a right to take part in the decision making. Formerly known as the “Body Corporate”.

Poll

A method of voting at a general meeting, where each owner’s vote has a value based on the lot’s unit entitlement. (Note: Units with larger entitlements have a greater voting power than they would if a vote was based simply on a show of hands).

Proxy

A person appointed, in writing, by an owner or mortgagee to attend a meeting and vote on their behalf.

Quorum

The smallest number of eligible attendees at a meeting before any motion can be voted on.

Sinking Fund

Levies paid into this fund cover the costs of major future capital expenses, which may include painting, flooring and roofing. See our related article on Sinking Funds.

Special Levy

A lump sum contribution paid by the owners to cover unexpected or unplanned expenses.

Special Resolution

A resolution passed at a general meeting of the owners corporation against which no more than one-quarter of votes (calculated by unit entitlements) is cast.

Strata Committee

(Formerly known as the Executive Committee) A group of between 1 to 9 owners or owner’s nominees elected at each Annual General Meeting, who are responsible for assisting in the day to day administration of the strata scheme (subject to the restrictions imposed by the Owners Corporation, by-laws or Strata Schemes Management Act).

Strata Manager

A licensed, professional agent appointed by the Owners Corporation to manage the affairs of a strata scheme. See our related article on The Role of a Strata Manager.

Strata Plan

This is a plan that divides the land and buildings of a strata scheme into lots and common property.

Strata Roll

The register of the owners of every lot in a Strata Scheme. It also includes the names of other interested parties such as any mortgagees, covenant chargees or lessees. See our related article – The Strata Roll Explained.

Strata Scheme

A system of multiple ownership of a building. Each owner owns a ‘lot’, but also share ownership of any common property. The multiple owners combine to form a legal entity, known as the Owners Corporation.

Tribunal

Also known as the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.

Unanimous Resolution

A resolution passed at a general meeting of the owners corporation against which no vote is cast.

Unit Entitlement

Each lot has a comparative value based on a number of factors, such as the size of the lot. The unit entitlement of each lot is shown on the strata plan and is used to calculate each owner’s contributions for levies and also voting “power”.

Utility Lot

A lot designed primarily for storage of items such as boats, motor vehicles or goods. These are not for human occupation as a residence, office, shop or the like.