Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page

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  • #49486

    We’d like to purchase from the strata a strip of land behind our back balcony, including knocking out the wall of the balcony and building a new wall at the new perimeter.

    We’re the ground floor, and the space is genuinely unused and in fact inaccessible by another owners. It’s currently just a waste land, so we feel doing this, and laying grass in our newly owned space, would improve what the above apartment windows look down on.

    The strata has asked us to prepare a letter for the committee to consider. What sort of legal issues arise here? What are the technical terms for what we want to do, and what sort of information do we need to include?

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  • #49507

    Section 112 of the Act allows exclusive use of common property under the terms of an agreement approved by special resolution (just like a by-law).

    This is probably the simplest solution as the agreement can be attached to the lot (so it transfers with the change of ownership) and would not involve change of ownership or recalculation of levies.  It can carry any conditions that either party requires, such as an agreement that the lot owner maintains and repairs the property at their own expense, to a reasonable standard etc etc.  The “rent” for the space can be indexed.

    Otherwise, the purchase option requires all sorts of hidden extras, such as recalculating levies, taxes, legal fees, and so on.

    The value of the purchase should be calculated, at minimum, as the added value to the apartment minus the cost of the work, including legals.

    I would say, go for a permanent lease and the best way to achieve this would be to send a letter of intent in which you would lay out what you plan to do and how you plan to do it (with approvals, of course) including a commitment to cover all legal fees and the cost of a general meeting (if required) to pass the special resolution.

    And with that in mind, your next call should be to a specialist strata lawyer.



    Sir Humphrey is suggesrib8two different approaches

    Th e first is to have an exclusive use by law passed

    The second is to acquire the land in question.

    The first option is the cheapest and simplest. You may be able to acquire the use of the land for no consideration, or the strata may ask for a yearly rental.

    The second option requires valuation of the land, a new strata plan and a payment to the strata for the value of the land you acquire.

    Because in both cases you are enhancing the value of your lot, the other owners are entitled to a share .

    You will need legal advice in both cases, and you are likely to have to pay the OC costs as well.

    Make sure the value of what you are acquiring exceeds the costs, unless of course this is a vanity purchase

    Sir HumphreySir Humphrey

    Acquiring exclusive use of an area of common property requires a general meeting resolution and the bar is generally high. It varies between states and according to other criteria but it could require an unopposed resolution of a general meeting. I suggest that any resolution should detail what you are permitted to do on that area and responsibility for maintenance.

    Having the strata plan redrawn so as to include this area within your lot is a different approach with a similarly high bar.

    The construction you propose would require both approval from the owners corporation and the local council.

    I suggest you will need to do quite a bit of research and possibly seek professional legal advice before proceeding with a proposal.

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Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page