Glossary

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

This is a general meeting of the Owners Corporation that must be convened each financial year.

 

The agenda for the meeting must have a number of compulsory motions, such as motions to adopt financial statements, elect a new strata committee, take out insurances, and to limit the types of matters that may only be determined by the Owners Corporation in a general meeting. 

In addition to the compulsory motions, the agenda for the annual general meeting may consider other motions (e.g. a motion to make a by-law).

By-Law

A by-law is a rule that can be made by an Owners Corporation which governs the control, management, administration, use or enjoyment of lots and the common property in a strata scheme. By-laws may also grant common property rights such as exclusive use of common property or a special privilege in respect of the common property.

 

By-laws must be complied with by the Owners Corporation, owners, and occupiers (e.g. tenants). Any lease agreement contains an implied term that the lessee will comply with the by-laws for the strata scheme. 

Common Property

Common property is that part of the parcel which is not part of any lot. In order to work out what is common property, one must first work out what is contained in a lot or the lots in a strata scheme. 

Common property is owned by the Owners Corporation, who holds it as agent for the owners as tenants in common in shares proportional to the unit entitlements of their respective lots. For example if your own a lot with a unit entitlement of 14 out of 100, then you effectively own 14% of the common property. 

The Owners Corporation has a strict duty to repair and maintain the common property and must renew or replace any fixtures or fittings comprised in the common property and any personal property vested in the Owners Corporation.  

Common Property Certificate of Title

This is a title deed issued by Land Registry Services NSW noting the owner of the common property in the strata scheme (the Owners Corporation), the applicable by-laws including any changes in the by-laws, any easements, covenants or restrictions on use of the land, the number of lots including and subdivided lots, and the allocated unit entitlements for each lot. Each time a new dealing is registered (e.g. a change of by-law adding a new by-law), a new edition of the certificate of title is issued. 

Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)

This is a general meeting of the Owners Corporation which is not an annual general meeting. 

An extraordinary general meeting may be convened by the secretary, the strata committee, or at the request of at least one-quarter of all owners. 

At least seven clear days notice must be given to each owner, and if a motion to be considered is a unanimous or special resolution or relates to insurance, budgeting, or the fixing of a particular levy, notice must also be given to the first mortgagee of any lot.

Land Registry Services NSW (LRS)

This is the business name of Australian Registry Services, the operator of land titling and registry services in New South Wales. The LRS is primarily used by us to register by-laws and to obtain information about strata schemes (e.g. the current by-laws). 

Lot

A "lot" is defined in the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015. It is a complex definition - click here for a link to the definition.

A lot is one or more cubic spaces (e.g. a home unit and a car space) in a parcel. The boundaries of a lot are by reference to the floor plan of the strata plan and any notations on the strata plan. Generally, the vertical boundary of a lot is the inner surface of a wall noted on the floor plan of the strata plan (usually a thick black line), while the horizontal boundary of a lot is the upper surface of a floor of the under surface of a ceiling which joins with the vertical boundary. 

The owner of a lot owns the airspace within the lot and is responsible to repair and maintain anything within that airspace (though the Owners Corporation may make a by-law requiring the owner to do or refrain from doing certain things within the airspace of a lot).

The nature of a lot (and therefore common property) can differ between each strata scheme and depends upon such factors as when the strata plan was registered, any notations on the strata plan, and the complex definitions in the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015. The LRS has issued a guide on identifying common property, which can be accessed by clicking here. Strata Community Australia have also issued a similar publication which can be accessed clicking here. These circulars are only a guide. You should always obtain legal advice to determine to exact nature of a lot and common property.

Owners Corporation

The Owners Corporation is a company constituted under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996. It has the management and control of the common property and is the owner of the common property. It also administers the entire strata scheme. While its members are the owners of the lots, the owners corporation is a separate legal entity, much like a shareholder is a separate legal entity to a company in which it owns shares. 

Parcel

A parcel is all the land in a strata plan. It consists of lots and common property. 

Requisition

This is a written request to for the Owners Corporation to consider motions at its next general meeting or to convene a general meeting or an executive committee meeting. Any person entitled to vote can request a motion is considered by the Owners Corporation at its next general meeting. The request must be made in writing to the secretary of the Owners Corporation and must be accompanied by an explanatory note of not more than 300 words.

 

A person or persons entitled to vote and who have at least one quarter of all unit entitlements can also request that a general meeting is convened as soon as practicable and not later than 14 day after the request. That request can also include a request for the consideration of motions at that general meeting. One third of strata committee members can request that a strata committee meeting is convened. 

Special Resolution

This is a resolution of the Owners Corporation that is passed in a general meeting and against which not more than one-quarter of unit entitlements is cast. This is different to 75% voting in favour of the motion. For example, in a strata scheme with ten lots each having 1 unit entitlement, a special resolution will be made if all owners attend and only two owners vote in favour, one votes against, and the remaining seven owners abstain. 

A special resolution of the Owners Corporation is required for important decisions decision of the Owners Corporation (e.g. to make, amend, or repeal a by-law).

Strata Committee

A strata committee is a body of people elected by the Owners Corporation, usually at each annual general meeting. The members in the strata committee do not have to be owners. 

The strata committee assists the Owners Corporation in carrying out its management functions under the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015. It has the same power as the Owners Corporation to make decisions unless the Owners Corporation decides such a matter may only be determined by it in a general meeting, or the decision requires an unanimous resolution or a special resolution (e.g. to make a by-law). 

 

The decisions of the strata committee are taken to be the decisions of the Owners Corporation; however where there is a disagreement between the strata committee and the Owners Corporation, the decision of the Owners Corporation prevails. 

Strata Committee Meeting (SCM)

This is a meeting of the strata committee.

 

The first meeting of the strata committee is usually held right after the annual general meeting where the committee is elected. At this meeting a chairperson, secretary and treasurer must be appointed. These are called office holders and one person may be appointed to more than one office. 

A strata committee meeting must be held when not less than one-third of all members of the strata committee so request. The agenda for a strata committee meeting must be displayed on the notice board (if one is required to be kept under the by-laws) and/ or sent in writing to each strata committee member and owner at least 3 clear days before the meeting. 

Any owner can attend a strata committee meeting but may not address the meeting unless authorised by a resolution of the strata committee.

Strata Management Statement

This is a document required to be registered whenever part of a building is subdivided by a strata plan. The building may then consist of two or more strata plans or one strata plan and one or more deposited plans. The strata management statement regulates the relationship between the different parts of the building or development. The common parts of a strata management statement are the establishment of a building management committee, the identification of shared facilities and the division of shared costs, rules for the building, and dispute resolution.

Utility Lot

This is a lot designed to be used primarily for storage or accommodation of boats, motor vehicles or goods and not for human occupation as a residence, office, shop or the like. Depending on when the strata plan was registered and the terms of development consent preceding the registration of the strata plan, an owner may be restricted from using or dealing with a utility lot. For example there may be a restriction that the utility lot may only be used by an owner or occupier of a lot that is not another utility lot.