Survey-Strata, Built Strata and Strata Conversion
There are three main types of strata subdivision. They are survey-strata, built strata and strata conversion. Each type has advantages and disadvantages depending on the particular development. The following information is intended to be a guide for anyone contemplating this type of development. For more information a good resource is the Landgate website which has a lot of helpful information. Alternatively contact us via the contact page or on 97567719 for an obligation free chat.
1. Survey-Strata Subdivision
Survey Stratas are a form of strata, which allow for the creation of vacant lots and do not show the buildings on the strata plan unlike a Built Strata.
They have the advantage over Built Strata in that they do not require the construction of the building in order to complete the subdivision whilst retaining the ability to have common property and to bring services across one lot into another. This means that it is possible to avoid expensive and time-consuming extensions to mains service lines such as water and sewerage.
You can rely on Survcon to complete all your survey work and assist throughout the process, from submitting the application to the Western Australian Planning Commission to creating the plan for subdivision and lodgement with Landgate.
The advantages area:
- Allows new titles to be created first without having to build on the Strata lots.
- If the Survey Strata process is started early enough, you can obtain new titles long before a new development is totally finished on site.
- Each Strata lot owner has more freedom in what they can do with their buildings.
- Once the new title is issued, a Survey Strata Plan never needs updating, no matter what the Strata lot owners do with their buildings.
The disadvantages area:
- Can be more difficult to achieve, especially if doing a Battle-axe scheme.
- Most expensive way to subdivide (in terms of Surveying fees).
- Each Strata lot owner has no control over what the other lot owner(s) do with their buildings.
- The WA Planning Commission (WAPC) must approve all Survey Strata applications. The WAPC is more difficult and less flexible than the Local Council when interpreting the rules to subdivide. They can also impose difficult conditions that would not be imposed by the Local Council.
- What the Local Council approves in its Development Application, be it outside the R-Codes or whatever, DOES NOT guarantee that the WAPC will approve a Survey Strata under the same configuration.
- Any proposed vacant lots must be clear of all buildings and have all services supplied to it (water, sewer, underground power, drainage) BEFORE new titles can be obtained.
- Any proposed lots with an existing building must comply and have car bays, driveway, a storage shed, and a private courtyard area all completed BEFORE new titles can be obtained.
2. Built Strata
A Built or Standard Strata is the most common form of strata scheme in Western Australia. This form of strata subdivision can only be finished when all building is complete and is typically only started at around the roof on or lockup stage of construction, as the buildings are shown on the strata plan. Generally no vacant lots are allowed, there are exceptions to this but they are rare.
Survcon Surveying has an extensive history in Built Stratas and can provide advice and assistance on all aspects of the process.
What is it?
- A Building Strata (commonly referred to as just "Strata") relies on having all buildings completed – NO VACANT LOTS ARE ALLOWED. There are exceptions to this, but they are rare.
- All buildings are shown on the Strata Plan.
- Once the new titles issue, any change to the buildings (external appearance, extensions, new buildings, demolition & rebuilding, etc.) needs the PRIOR consent of all Strata lot owners, as per the Strata Titles Act.
The advantages area:
- Easiest way to subdivide.
- Cheapest way to subdivide (in terms of Surveying fees).
- Each Strata lot owner has more control over what the other lot owner(s) can do with their buildings.
- Whatever the Local Council approves in its Development Application, be it outside the R-Codes or whatever, DOES mean you can
- Strata title as long everything is built in accordance with the Local Council approvals.
- The WA Planning Commission (WAPC) is not involved.
The disadvantages are:
- Must have the finance to build before obtaining the new titles.
- You cannot obtain new titles until the ENTIRE development is totally finished, including fences / walls, landscaping, paving, crossovers, letterboxes, etc.
- Each Strata lot owner has less freedom in what they can do with their buildings.
- Once the new titles issue, any change to the buildings (extensions, new buildings, demolition & rebuilding) results in the Strata Plan at the Titles Office being inaccurate. Thus the Strata Plan may need to be updated = an extra expense to the owners each time.
3. Strata Conversion
If your scheme is a single tier strata scheme which was created before the 1st of January 1998 you can take advantage of the option to change your strata scheme to a survey-strata scheme at any time. For schemes registered after this date, conversion is not an option.
In a strata scheme only the buildings are shown on the strata plan. In a survey-strata scheme no buildings are shown on the plan and all of the land boundaries are fully surveyed. The plan looks similar to a green title lot plan.
Some other features of a survey-strata scheme are:
- All buildings situated on a lot in a survey-strata scheme are part of that lot, so the problems of common property in buildings are removed.
- There are fewer restrictions on carrying out building alterations in a survey-strata scheme.
- The strata company is only required to take out joint insurance of any common property in a survey-strata scheme
- The unit entitlement is calculated differently to strata schemes, which may affect your rights and responsibilities in the scheme.