What is Common Property?
If you live in a residential or commercial strata property the question of who owns what needs to be established. This answer will determine how a strata scheme is managed and who is responsible for each element of that scheme.
Common property is the responsibility of the owner’s corporation and lot property is the lot owner’s responsibility. But it’s not quite as simple as that. What is and what is not common property is a bone of contention for many residents of strata living regarding property maintenance and deciding who pays for what.
Fresh Strata is based on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, so we’ll focus on NSW legislation where the team at Fresh Strata are highly knowledgeable about strata common property in New South Wales.
Everyone shares ownership of the common property in a strata scheme, typically defined as external walls, foyers, and driveways. The lot owner owns the inside of their residential or commercial unit but not the main, external structure of the building. The four walls, the ceiling, roof, and floor, are considered common property. Everything inside the lot is the owner’s property, including all internal walls, fixtures, carpets, and paint.
Common property can include:
- Pipes in the common property or those servicing more than one lot
- Electrical wiring in the common property or that servicing more than one lot
- Originally installed parquet floors, ceramic tiles, floorboards, vermiculite ceilings, plaster ceilings, and cornices
- Magnesite finish on the floor
- Kitchen and bathroom fittings.
If strata plan registration occurred after 1974, balcony doors are also usually considered common property. Similarly, a slab between two storeys of the same lot, or one storey from an open roof area/garden areas (e.g., townhouse or villa), falls into ‘common property’ unless the registered strata plan says differently.
Issues Causing Problems in Common Property
One of the most significant issues causing problems between people living in a strata complex is when other residents’ or visitors’ behaviour directly impacts them. Things such as leaving unwanted items in a common area, visitors’ cars overstaying their welcome, dumping of rubbish – these can cause problems needing to be addressed.
Talk to Your Strata Committee
If you have concerns around something that may be impeaching on common property, bring it to the attention of the strata committee or your strata manager. They will advise you on an appropriate course of action.
Choose Fresh Strata, Sydney’s Northern Beaches Strata Specialists
Fresh Strata has a unique approach to strata title management. We exist to help owner’s corporations and strata committees to navigate the sometimes-confusing world of common property dilemmas, strata schemes, taking on critical roles such as property maintenance, updating important registers, organising meetings, and keeping your strata scheme in line with the law.
At Fresh Strata we are passionate about delivering excellent strata management services, with complete transparency and a core focus on managing strata properties in a friendly and efficient way.
With over 20 years in the industry as an Australian family-owned company, Fresh Strata is your go-to Northern Beaches strata management company in Sydney. Contact us today.