Registration and Variation of Strata Plans 

Strata plans are one of the most popular forms of development in New South Wales. Whether for a few townhouses or a commercial or residential building with dozens of apartments, a strata plan is a way of organising a multiple unit development so that a separate title exists for each.

If you are developing a strata scheme, or varying an existing strata scheme, it is likely that your surveyor and architect will assist you in the planning and building stages. The next step in the development process is the registration of the strata scheme and establishment of the Owners' Corporation. Somerville Legal can assist you in negotiating the complex legislation, including the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 and the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 which govern the process.

Registration of a strata plan can be a time-consuming process if you are not familiar with the procedures of the Land and Property Management Authority ("LPMA"). LPMA requirements as to the documents required for registration are strict. Incorrect or incomplete documents can result in frustrating requisitions which can be expensive and time consuming.

Somerville Legal will ensure that registration is as quick and simple as possible and will:

  • Liaise with you and your surveyor and architect to ensure that the documents for registration are in the proper form and correctly executed. 
  • Draft by-laws and any dealings, such as easements and covenants which are to be lodged with the strata plan.
  • Advise you on the calculation of unit entitlements. 
  • Liaise with council and your mortgagee to obtain their necessary endorsement on the strata plan.
  • Arrange final lodgement of all documents.

When a strata plan is registered, an Owners' Corporation is automatically created. The Owners' Corporation is required to do certain things including obtain a valuation and insurance for the building, conduct a first annual general meeting, prepare a budget and financial statement, create an administrative and sinking fund and appoint an executive committee.

The "initial period" for a strata plan lasts until one third of the unit entitlements have been sold. The Owners' Corporation is restricted from doing certain things during the initial period, including creating certain types of by-laws.

In setting up a strata plan, Somerville Legal can:

  • Arrange and, if required, attend the first annual general meeting of the Owners' Corporation. 
  • Advise on the appointment of a strata manager and election of an executive. 
  • Assist in the preparation of financial statements and budgets. 
  • Advise on restrictions and obligations in the initial period and the ongoing obligations of the Owners Corporation including annual and extraordinary meetings, maintaining the strata rolls and striking and recovering levies. 

If you would like to discuss the registration or variation of a strata plan further, contact Jackson O'Keeffe.

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