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Common property

What is common property?

The common property consists of those parts of the community parcel that do not comprise or form part of a lot, and includes the service infrastructure not for the exclusive use of a lot [ss 28(1)(a)—(b)]. In addition, the common property includes any building that is not for the exclusive use of a lot and was erected before the deposit of the community plan, any building erected by the developer or the community corporation as part of the common property, and any other building on the community parcel that has been committed to the care of the community corporation as part of the common property [ss 28(1)(d)—(f)].

In the case of a strata plan, the common property also includes those parts of the building that are not part of a lot [s 28(c)]. Unless a particular strata plan indicates otherwise, the boundary of a lot is the internal surface of the walls, floors and ceilings [s 19(4)].

Service infrastructure

Service infrastructure is the cables, wires and pipes that provide services to lot owners and the common property [s 3]. The service infrastructure is shown, as far as it is practical to do so, on the plan of community division through the common property, and on a lot where it services more than the one lot [s 14(5)(e)]. As service infrastructure that serves more than one lot forms part of the common property, it is the responsibility of the corporation to maintain it [s 75]. Service infrastructure that only serves one lot is the responsibility of that lot owner to maintain.

Commercial use of the common property

Unlike in strata titles, in community titles the common property can be used, subject to planning approval, for commercial ventures such as a public golf course or retail centre [s 28(2)]. Any profits are returned to the community corporation and must be paid into the administrative or sinking funds [s 28(3)]. Surplus profits may, by special resolution, be distributed to owners of the lots in proportion to lot entitlement, if more money than is needed is held in the administrative fund or the sinking fund [s 117]. As there can be losses as well as profits, any commercial venture should be based on detailed financial and legal advice.

If members of the public have access to the common property, or a part of it, then members of the public are entitled to use the common property, or the relevant part of it, in accordance with the by-laws [s 28(4)].

Management of the common property

Common property is managed by the community corporation [s 75], which is required to keep an administrative and a sinking fund [s 116]. A two lot scheme may be exempt from the requirement to keep an administrative and a sinking fund through its by-laws [s 35(1)(d)].

Common property  :  Last Revised: Fri Mar 14th 2014
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