Managing finances in a Strata scheme

If you’ve recently purchased a strata lot, you might be wondering how difficult it might be to manage finances in your new home. Moving is a change that is rarely without stress, whether it’s mental or financial. Time is another thing that moving can limit. In Australia, strata titles work under specific rules that are made by management and Australian law, but they also come with tons of benefits you might not know about. Here are some examples of things that could influence your finances in a strata lot and some ways you can come to terms with them.

Maintenance won’t be an issue

When it comes to strata, apartments are the most common types of titles. Because of this, you’ll find that maintaining your abode is going to be much cheaper than if you held a house title. Not having a garden or lawn means you won’t have to spend time keeping it up to neighbourhood standards. It should be mentioned that your electricity bill and your water bill will be thankful for it.

The building itself is under strata jurisdiction. Maintaining the halls, entrance, and parking is up to body corporate. Any repairs to the inside of the building and even the inside of your own lot are handled by strata management, meaning that all you have to do is make a call and you should have it fixed pronto. If you aren’t satisfied with wait times and repair quality, you’re in luck. As a lot owner, you are also a part of the committee, meaning you can vote on changes you deem necessary.

Tighter regulations

Strata titles are governed by the body corporate, but even they have limits. Australian law has special sections for strata management itself. This benefits the lot owner, most of all. The owners of the common property can’t just enact draconian laws out of the blue, there are regulations in place that prevent this. What you sign up for is what you get.

By-laws are what you have to watch out for. They are a set of laws that strata management enforce on their properties. These are the rules you have to follow. Luckily, thanks to legislation like the Strata Management Legislation Amendment Act of 2008, you are protected from over-reaching by-laws as well. They might be important rules, but they can’t supersede actual Australian law.

Renovating might be an issue

Living in any area for an extended amount of time can become a bore. This might make you want to spruce things up a bit, but renovating things in a strata apartment can be complicated. The issue is that you don’t own everything on the strata lot. Everything on the inside of the walls is yours, but the walls themselves aren’t. If you want to tear down or build any walls, and they you will have to consult body corporate. DIY solutions aren’t recommended when renovating, because doing damage to common property will put you on the hook to pay for it.

Even if you hire outside help, you still have to be careful. Renovators can be useful because they know how to handle things without doing any real damage, but accidents can still happen. You still need to watch out for insurance. If the people renovating your place don’t have the right kind of insurance and certificates of currency and they end up doing damage to the common property, you might have to pay for it.

Mediators

Having problems with your neighbours is an essential part of having neighbours. This is an unfortunate but inevitable part of living in a building. All hell breaks loose when you have to decide who is at fault for any kind of damage done to the building or to the lot. This can be stressful for your peace of mind and especially for your wallet. The good news is that strata management has a solution for this as well.

Internal disputes are first run through body corporate, where you can argue your side of the story to the other lot owners. The owners of the common property influence this too. If the end result isn’t satisfactory, you have the option of calling in a mediator, which is your right as a lot owner. Experienced strata managers are experts and have details knowledge in strata law, they will look at both sides of the dispute and come up with a solution that benefits both parties. With this in mind, you can rest easy knowing that your rights will be respected.

More affordable living

One of the many reasons people opt for getting a strata property is because it’s more affordable than other kinds of titles you can purchase. There’s no actual land involved since you’re actually buying a lot, which is a part of the whole strata title. This makes it drastically cheaper than buying something like an apartment. Since you aren’t the owner of any common areas, their maintenance isn’t your problem either.

The benefits don’t stop when you purchase the lot either. Living on the lot will save you tons of money as well. Utilities are much cheaper than you might expect. Things like power are monitored for the whole building by a third party. This party is hired by the strata management, and they get much better deals for it than other buildings.

Conclusion

In conclusion, living in a strata apartment isn’t too shabby. You have very few responsibilities to look out for, and nobody is going to pester you for maintenance like homeowner’s associations often do. With all the reduced bills, you’ll find that they aren’t as stressful on your wallet as they might seem. If you’re worried about being duped by awful landlords, you’re also in luck. Different regulations in place will give you much-needed reassurance that you won’t be swindled out of anything any time soon. If you keep all of these things in mind, purchasing and living in a strata apartment will be smooth sailing.

Liam Smith

Liam Smith is a young and aspiring Australian blogger with a passion for everything related to home, design and lifestyle. He has a B.Sc. in Interior design and is an avid reader.

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