What is a Strata Title?

author-avatar By
on January 14, 2022 Fact Checked
What is a Strata Title?

If you are on the hunt for a new home, you may have come across the term strata title, but what exactly does it mean?

Buying a new property is more than just spotting a ‘for sale’ sign one day and moving in the next - it requires research, an understanding of what is to come and breaking down real estate jargon to get the most out of your finances.

In this article, we’ll look at:


Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Lender
Advertised rate Comparison rate* Monthly repayment Rate TypeOffsetRedrawOngoing FeeUpfront FeesLVRLump Sum RepaymentAdditional RepaymentsPre-approval

VariableMore details
LIMITED TIME OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
LIMITED TIME OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
VariableMore details
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
FixedMore details
USE A MARKET LEADING APP TO HELP YOU PAY OFF YOUR LOAN SOONER

Fixed Home Loan 1 year (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)

  • Make up to $20,000 additional repayments per fixed term
  • Redraw available – lets you access any extra loan repayments you’ve made
  • Choose to rate lock for 90 days (fee applies)
USE A MARKET LEADING APP TO HELP YOU PAY OFF YOUR LOAN SOONER

Fixed Home Loan 1 year (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)

  • Make up to $20,000 additional repayments per fixed term
  • Redraw available – lets you access any extra loan repayments you’ve made
  • Choose to rate lock for 90 days (fee applies)
VariableMore details
REFINANCE IN MINUTES, NOT WEEKS

Nano Home Loans Variable Owner Occupied, Principal and Interest (Refinance Only)

  • No application or ongoing fees.
  • 100% free offset sub account.
  • Fast online application, approval in minutes not weeks.
  • Mobile app, Visa debit card, Apple and Google Pay
  • Refinance loans and variable rates only.
REFINANCE IN MINUTES, NOT WEEKS

Nano Home Loans Variable Owner Occupied, Principal and Interest (Refinance Only)

  • No application or ongoing fees.
  • 100% free offset sub account.
  • Fast online application, approval in minutes not weeks.
  • Mobile app, Visa debit card, Apple and Google Pay
  • Refinance loans and variable rates only.
VariableMore details
ZERO APPLICATION FEES

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
ZERO APPLICATION FEES

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
  • No upfront or ongoing fees

Rates correct as of January 17, 2022. View disclaimer.


What is a strata title property?

When purchasing a house, you purchase the land title or the entire block of land. However, if you buy a property that is part of a strata title, you own more than meets the eye. Strata title property is common among ‘lots’ such as units, apartments or townhouses where your ownership also includes a share of the common property including areas like foyers, lifts, fences, gardens and swimming pools. Areas of common property are generally managed by a legal entity or in some cases they are the shared responsibility of all property owners of the building.

Classification of the legal entity representing the strata title depends on the state or territory the property is located is in and the type of scheme that property is organised under. This means the legal entity may be known as the owners corporation, body corporate, strata company or community corporation.

The role of a legal entity

An owner’s corporation or body corporate in a strata building maintains the common property.  This legal entity is made up of all lot owners. In some cases where the property has a mix of commercial and residential lots, it may have multiple committees to divide responsibilities and costs. Often when this is the case, the owner’s corporation may vote for lot owners to form a committee and give them specific responsibilities to make decisions. 

An owner’s corporation can make rules which are binding on the owners and tenants regarding the use of common property. They can also introduce by-laws that suit the residents of the strata scheme.

Strata title property responsibilities

A key cog in the strata title property machine is understanding your responsibilities as a lot owner since they tend to differ from traditional properties.

As a lot owner, you are responsible for:

  • Abiding by the laws as set out by your legal entity.

  • Notifying the legal entity if you sell your property, or if your tenants change.

  • Paying your legal entity levies on time e.g. body corporate fees. These cover your contribution to the maintenance and repair costs of common property.

  • Attending owner meetings.

Pros and cons of strata title property

When considering whether a strata title property is right for you, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each in making your decision.

Pros

  • Living in a strata title property means the common area maintenance is managed by the legal entity and you are normally only responsible for directly managing your own lot. The benefit of this is you can head off on holiday knowing the strata manager is responsible for any issues that might occur while you’re soaking in some much needed sun. Each quarter you pay a strata levy that is then used to manage the maintenance of the common areas.

  • Affordability and location. First homeowners or those retired or elderly have the option to purchase a property in an area they want to live that would otherwise be unaffordable if they were buying a house.

  • Modern strata title properties include facilities such as a swimming pool, gym, landscaped gardens and outdoor entertaining areas. These are luxuries first homeowners would not expect when buying a home within a particular price bracket. To top it off, it's all regularly maintained!

  • People with little or no family can become part of a community in a strata title property and can become actively involved in the day to day operations.

Cons

  • Strata surcharges or strata levies associated with the purchase of the property. These charges are generally paid quarterly and are spent on the maintenance of the building, its facilities and surrounds. Generally, the larger the block with jam-packed features the higher the payments.

  • Council rates and utilities are charged for each unit, rather than the building as a whole. This means the owner has to pay these bills separate from any strata levies.

  • If you are in a complex where the owners corporation is ineffective, it can be a frustrating process to have any major improvements or changes made - you thought you escaped this after renting!

  • Depending on the strata title property by-laws, you may have to abide by certain restrictions relating to pets and performing any renovations or alterations to your property.

  • The value of your property is directly linked to the value of others in the complex.

Savings.com.au’s two cents

If you’re thinking of buying into a strata title property, it’s important to have an understanding as to what this means and what your obligations will be as a lot owner to determine if it is right for you. With house prices at an all-time high, strata title property can provide a cut-price way for you to enter the property market without compromising on features, yet the fees that come attached through strata levies may outweigh the benefits for some.

Whether you are taking your first steps into the property market, investing or simply looking to downsize, it’s important to consider your financial position and future outlook before making any property decisions.


Image by Drew Dau via Unsplash.

Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

Latest Articles

author-avatar
Jacob Cocciolone joined the Savings team in 2021 as a Finance Journalist. Driven by a passion for keeping Australians up to date with the latest financial news and trends, his areas of interest include financial technology, investing, property and motoring.

Be Savings smart.
Subscribe for free money newsletters.

By subscribing you agree to the Savings Privacy Policy