Your Responsibilities in a Strata Building

Buying an apartment or townhouse in a strata building places you in a different situation than owning your own home. Effectively, it means you own the walls of your home and everything inside them, but still have responsibility for some of the shared spaces in the building. This situation can be confusing — what is your responsibility when it comes to home insurance, parties, or even garbage disposal?

1. Laws The first thing you need to know is that some of the rules in your building aren’t just rules, they are laws that apply to everyone in the same situation as you. Your strata manager should be able to tell you the laws that may impact you in your building. Keep in mind things like loud parties and normal noise laws.

Your neighbors have the right to peaceful enjoyment of their property, just like you do! 2. Regulations In addition to the laws, your building may have its own set of rules and regulations that govern practices. This could be anything from the times you are allowed to use the pool, through to when you can move in or out, or if you can store items in your carpark. It is in your best interest to obtain a copy of the rules when you move in so you don’t find your first few months uncomfortable. 3.

Shared spaces While your home is your home, the building will contain shared spaces, such as swimming pools, barbecue areas or gardens. Ensure you are respectful of these shared spaces, as any damage to them will not only mean issues with your neighbors, but repairs from your pocket. 4. Upkeep The great benefit of a strata building is that upkeep of shared spaces is not your responsibility — this is what your fees pay for. Unless otherwise explained, you do not need to mow the lawns in shared spaces, maintain tennis courts, put chlorine in pools or any other of the myriad of jobs you would need to undertake if you purchased a home. 5. Garbage Garbage disposal is also generally centrally managed in a strata building, ensure your responsibilities are met by placing your garbage in the appropriate bins and using the disposal shoots correctly.

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