I often get asked what is the difference between Strata and Company Title as a Property Manager from both Tenants and clients alike.
What is company title?
Company title is a form of ownership that pre-dates strata title, which was introduced in the 1960’s. Company title entails that a company owns the building of units and land it occupies. The owner known as a shareholder does not have title to any real estate, but has, by virtue of owning a number of the shares in the company, the right to occupy a defined area in the building.
What is a Strata Title?
The strata system was introduced in Australia in 1961 and has since been widely adopted.
Unlike Company Title you have ownership or title to the unit and shared ownership and responsibility for the building as a whole including gardens, driveways and recreational facilities known as common areas.
- It is considered to be a fair, transparent and equitable system
- A plan known as a Strata plan clearly defines the unit or lot ownership and which parts are common property
- Everything operates through an entity called the Owners Corporation.
- All owners get the right to vote on bigger decisions at either an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting.
- Strata Title is governed by legislation called the Strata Schemes Management Act.
- The building also know as a Strata Plan will have clear defined regulations known as By-laws.
- Everything operates through the Board of Directors of the Company Title
- The directors don’t have to consult shareholders, even on big issues.
- A company’s constitution can sometimes be onerous and even arbitrary and can vary significantly between company titles.
- The company’s constitution can limit who can buy into the property, whether the property can be rented, what changes can be made to the property.
- Should renting be permitted there can often be limits on the length of lease term and tenant will need to be approved by the board of directors and be subject to an interview.
- A company’s constitution can under some circumstances can revoke a shareholders shares or force the sale of shares and right to occupy the property.
- It can be difficult to obtain finance from banks when buying into company title especially in small blocks and where finance can be obtained there are restrictions on (LVR) Loan to Value Ratios.
If you require any property advice don’t hesitate to contact Jamie Hargrave Smith.