This article about changing from Strata Title to Green Title has been supplied by Strata Community Association WA.
Question: I live in a complex of six units with the only common area is the driveway. Why can’t we become a Green Title? If we can, how do we go about doing this?
I live in a complex of six units with the only common area is the driveway. Why can’t we become a Green Title? If we can, how do we go about doing this?
I live in the front unit and have to pay for the cost of the water and electricity used for the reticulation and it’s classed as strata and council property.
Answer: It is not possible for one lot proprietor within a strata scheme to change their lot to Green Title.
For information on land titling options, we would recommend that you contact the customer service team at Landgate.
However, it is not possible for one lot proprietor within a strata scheme to change their lot to Green Title.
When you purchase a lot in a strata scheme, you are also purchasing an undivided share of the common property within that strata scheme in accordance with your unit entitlement. Therefore, you have an interest in the common property as well as the lot that you have purchased, and you also have a range of obligations as a member of the strata company particularly in relation to the management and maintenance of the common property.
If there is an area of common property that you don’t have access to and you, therefore, believe that you should not be required to contribute towards the maintenance of it, you can propose that the strata company (of which you and the other owners within the scheme are members of) adopts a by-law under Section 42B of the Strata Titles Act 1985 (WA) (the Act):
42B. By‑laws may provide for different basis for levying contributions
(1) By‑laws made by a strata company under section 42 may provide for a method of assessing contributions to be levied on proprietors under section 36 otherwise than in proportion to the unit entitlement of their respective lots.
(2) Such a by‑law may relate to contributions to all of the expenses of the strata company or to one or more particular kinds of expenses.
This section of the Act allows for the strata company to create a by-law that alters the method of assessing contributions, which is otherwise done in accordance with the unit entitlements. For example, this could allow for you to be excluded from contributing to the water and electricity expenses involved with maintaining an area of common area lawn and/ or garden that you don’t have access to and/ or are not benefitting from.
It is, however, important to remember that you do own an undivided share of the common property and you will be required to contribute to its maintenance if the strata company does not agree to a by-law that excludes you from such contributions. We would, therefore, suggest that you start by discussing this with the other owners in the scheme to see if you would have their support in proposing a by-law of this nature.
Strata-titled property is very different to Green Title and as an owner in a strata scheme, it is imperative that you understand what you have purchased, how strata schemes operate and what your obligations are. SCA WA runs education courses for strata lot owners and also offers an advice line to members, which you can join as from only $66 per annum.
This post appears in Strata News #214.
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Disclaimer: The above information is provided solely for general information purposes and should not be taken as constituting legal advice or advice that is specific to your particular circumstances. You may consider seeking independent legal advice to see if the information provided relates to your circumstances.
Strata Community Association WA (SCA WA) is the peak industry body representing people who own and work with strata property in Western Australia by providing education and advocacy. Our members consist of strata lot owners, council of owners’ members, professional Strata Managers and associated service providers. Strata is a complex area of the property industry and it can be difficult to navigate without having access to professional assistance. To support our members, we offer a member-only Advice Line that provides general advice, information and guidance. Join SCA WA today from only $60* per annum to gain access to the Advice Line and other member benefits. Contact us to find out more!
Please note this advice was provided prior to the proclamation of the new strata title amendments and will be updated in due course.
- WA: Q&A How Do You Make a Strata Subdivision Western Australia?
- WA: Q&A Common Property Maintenance – Who is responsible for the damage?
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