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What is a strata scheme?

A strata scheme is a particular type of development which divides a parcel of land into “lots” and “common property”, and which specifies a system of management.  The area and boundaries of the lots are shown on the strata plan, along with their height and depth, and unit entitlements.


What is a body corporate?

The body corporate is the controlling body of a strata scheme. The owners of the lots in the scheme form the body corporate which comes into existence automatically on registration of the strata plan.


The body corporate has certain functions under the Act. These include:

  • to enforce the by-laws;
  • to control, manage and improve the common property;
  • to maintain the common property in good condition and keep it in good servicable repair;
  • to maintain the insurance required by the Act and any further insurance that may be required by ordinary resolution of the body corporate; 
  • to allocate spaces to lots for vehicle parking on the common property; and 
  • to carry out other functions for the benefit of lot owners.

What part of my unit complex is common property?

It is important to understand that lot boundaries differ on every stratum plan. Many lot owners may believe that there is no common property in their scheme, but this is not the case - all strata schemes contain areas of common property, although they are not always obvious. A common scenario is that the buildings are individually owned and part or all of the outside areas, such as shared gardens, is common property. Shared stairwells and hallways may also be common property. However, even in the absence of these obvious shared areas, all the areas above and below the boundaries of a lot are common property as is service infrastructure. If the boundaries of lots are not stated on the strata plan, the boundaries are taken to be the centre of all floors, walls and ceilings. To understand what a lot owner owns, and what is common property, it is essential a lot owner obtains a copy of the strata plan from the Land Titles Office or electronically from the LIST at www.thelist.tas.gov.au. If you would like assistance with this, please don’t hesitate to contact our team.


What are by-laws?

By-laws of the body corporate could be described as “rules”, they promote the concept of community living whilst facilitating administration of the strata scheme. By-laws must be observed by all owners and occupiers and their invitees and visitors as well as by the body corporate. The by-laws cover:

  • the administration, management and control of the common property, for example a by-law requiring occupiers and visitors of a lot owner to park in a designated area;  
  • the use and enjoyment of the lots and the common property, for example a by-law allowing one small dog only on a lot; and
  • exclusive use of common property, for example a by-law which gives exclusive use of a garden to one lot owner only.

If the first by-laws are not registered with the Land Titles Office, the Model by-laws automatically apply. The Model by-laws are set out in Schedule 1 of the Act.


Can I keep a pet in my unit?

This depends on the by-laws of the body corporate. If the body corporate has its own by-laws these will need to be checked. If the body corporate does not have a by-law which relates to the keeping of animals then the Model by-law will apply. The Model by-law provides that the written approval of the body corporate is required to keep animals on a lot or common property.