ADMINISTRATIVE FUND ~ Levies are paid into this fund to cover the day-to-day expenses of the owner’s corporation, i.e. electricity, gardening, insurance, routine repairs and maintenance of common property.

AGENDA ~ is a list of motions to be voted upon at a meeting.

AGGREGATE UNIT ENTITLEMENT ~ is the total of all the individual unit entitlements in the strata scheme.

BY-LAWS ~ are a set of “rules” that the residents (owners and tenants) in the strata scheme must follow. These can be changed at a general meeting of the owner’s corporation. All by-laws are not the same so it is wise to obtain a copy of the current by-laws for the strata scheme involved. The most common by-laws relate to the appearance of your lot, drying of laundry items, keeping of animals, noise & parking.

CERTIFICATE OF TITLE ~ is a deed issued by the Land & Property Information office to prove ownership of a lot. The owner’s corporation is also issued with a title deed for the common property.

COMMON SEAL ~ the owner’s corporation has a seal styled “The Owners – Strata Plan…” and this must be affixed whenever the owners corporation executes a document.

COMMON PROPERTY ~ is the area of land and building in the strata scheme which does not form part of any lot. It is jointly owned by all owners and the owners corporation is responsible for its management.

COMPANY NOMINEE ~ is a person who represents a lot owned by a company. A company must authorise a person in writing to vote at meetings on its behalf. A notice must be served on the owner’s corporation prior to a meeting of the owners corporation.

FAIR TRADING ~ is a government department which provides various services and assistance in strata matters between owners and owner’s corporations. They provide mediation services.

EXCLUSIVE USE ~ is when a special right is granted to an owner(s) to use part of common property i.e. exclusive use of common property for a car space.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ~ are elected representatives of the owners. Election takes place at each annual general meeting. The powers of the Executive Committee are limited under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 but the owner’s corporation may also impose additional restrictions.

You can be elected to the Executive Committee if you are:

  • An owner;

  • A company nominee of a corporation that is an owner;

  • A person who is not an owner but who is nominated by an owner who is not standing for election.

    It is not compulsory for a Executive Committee to hold a meeting but an Executive Committee may wish to hold many formal meetings in a 12 month period. All formal meetings can only be held if 72 hours prior written notice is given to its member and to all other lot owners within the scheme.

    An Executive Committee meeting consists of:-

  • A face to face meeting.

  • A paper meeting commonly known as a Schedule 3 meeting.

GENERAL MEETING ~ is a meeting of owners and other interested parties (as noted on the strata roll) who have been advised by notice of a proposed meeting. The owner’s corporation is required to convene and hold a general meeting once a year.

INITIAL PERIOD ~ is the period from the date of registration of the strata plan until the completion of the sale of one third of the aggregate unit entitlement. There are certain restrictions during the initial period.

LEVIES ~ the Owners Corporation contributions are otherwise known as levies. Lot owners are required to pay the owners corporation (levies) to ensure it has sufficient funds to meet its financial commitments in any given financial year. The amount and frequency of the owners corporation levies required to manage the common property are decided by the owners each year at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) or an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). A contribution notice is sent for each payment period. The levies are divided into 2 separate funds, known as the Administration Fund & Sinking Fund. The amount is based on unit entitlement.

LOT ~ a lot may include a unit, town house, car space & storage area that you have a right of ownership over on title. It is made up of cubic air space and is generally formed by the inner surface of the boundary walls, the under surface of the ceiling and the upper surface of the floor.

LOT OWNER ~ is a person(s) or company that buys a lot and whose name is shown on the roll.

MOTION ~ is a proposal for consideration by a meeting.

NSW CIVIL & ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL ~ is a government department to resolve disputes between owners and owner’s corporations. They provide adjudication & tribunal services.

ORIGINAL OWNER ~ is the owner of the strata scheme when the strata plan is registered.

OWNERS CORPORATION ~ Collectively the owners of the lots in the strata scheme. This is formed when the strata plan is registered. Each lot owner is automatically part of the owners corporation and has a right to participate in decision making.

PROXY ~ is a person (a lot owner, the chair person or another person) appointed in writing by an owner or mortgagee to attend an owners corporation meeting and vote on that person’s behalf.

QUORUM ~ before any motion can be voted upon at a meeting, a quorum must exist, i.e. – 25% of those entitles to vote OR – Owner/owners holding 25% or more of the total unit entitlements A quorum must consist of at least 2 persons. At executive committee meetings, a quorum is constituted when half of the members are present.

RESOLUTION ~ is a decision made at a meeting.

SECTION 109 CERTIFICATE ~ is a certificate issued by the strata managing agent or authorised person of the owner’s corporation for a prescribed fee. It contains details of levy contributions, insurances, executive committee, etc. Once issued, it may be updated for a prescribed fee.

SINKING FUND ~ is a fund where money is put aside for future non-recurring maintenance & renewal and replacement of fixtures and fittings (e.g. painting, carpet, garage doors & intercom systems) and the purchase of new owners corporation assets.

SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION ~ is a lump sum levy contribution to cover either unplanned or underestimated expenditure.

STRATA MANAGING AGENT ~ is a licensed person, appointed by the owners corporation to manage the strata scheme and delegate certain functions.

The strata managing agent is responsible to;

  • Attend and prepare minutes for executive Committee and General Meetings;

  • Attend to matters resulting from Executive Committee and General Meetings;

  • Attend to all correspondence;

  • Carrying out resolutions passed either at a committee meeting;

  • Carrying out resolutions passed at a general meeting;

  • Dealing with owners requests / complaints;

  • Effect all insurances and submit claims;

  • Enforcement of by-laws;

  • Giving notice of levy contribution;

  • Keeping full and accurate records of meeting resolutions;

  • Make applications and submissions to Fir Trading & NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal as “required”;

  • Making available the books and records for inspection by an interested person;

  • Monitoring the schemes financial position;

  • Pay accounts;

  • Prepare and forward notices as required by the Act;

  • Prepare notices of Executive Committee and General Meetings;

  • Preparing proposed budgets for adoption at each annual general meeting;

  • Prepare statements of account and annual budgets

  • Working with, monitoring and directing the Building Manager (if applicable);

  • Recommend actions for Executive Committee and Strata Scheme to ensure compliance with the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 and regulations;

  • Working with the executive committee.

STRATA PLAN ~ is a plan registered at the Land Titles Office which shows the building on the land indicating lots and common property.

STRATA ROLL ~ is a register of the owners of each lot in the strata scheme. It also includes the name of any mortgage, covenant charge or lessee (if notified). Detail of the Executive Committee & Owners Corporation's insurance are noted on this document.

STRATA SCHEME ~ is a building, or collection of buildings, where individuals each own a small portion of the scheme known as a ‘lot’ (e.g. an apartment or townhouse) but where there is also common property (e.g. external walls, windows, roof, driveways, foyers, fences, lawns, pools and gardens). Every owner shares the ownership of the common property.

Strata schemes vary in size, some comprise only two lots, other have more than 700 lots. Strata schemes do not just apply to residential developments. There are also commercial, industrial, mixed use, hotel and retirement village strata developments.

The major difference between owning a house and owning a unit or apartment (known as a ‘lot’) in a strata scheme which was established under a Strata Plan, is the external walls, the floor and roof do not usually belong to the lot owner. These areas are usually common property and the maintenance and repair of theses parts of the building is usually the responsibility of the owners corporation to maintain and insure. As it is common property, the lot owner is not able to alter or renovate these areas without the permission of the owners corporation.

STRATA SCHEMES MANAGEMENT ACT 1996 (SSMA) ~ is the legislation under which all strata matters are dealt with in NSW.

SPECIAL RESOLUTION ~ is a motion against which no more than 25% of the vote is cast (based on unit entitlement).

UNANIMOUS RESOLUTION ~ is a motion against which no vote is cast.

UNIT ENTITLEMENT ~ Each lot is given a “unit of entitlement” and this is shown on the strata plan. The amount of the unit of entitlement varies depending on a number of factors, i.e. size of lot & its aspect. Levies payable are calculated on the basis of unit of entitlement. The higher the entitlement, the higher the levy.