If you rent a unit, apartment, townhouse or duplex, you’re probably living in a strata-titled property. Strata complexes are known for their common areas, as well as special sets of rules or by-laws that are decided by the body corporate and guided by the Strata Titles Act (1985). As a tenant in a strata property, you will need to be aware of these extra rules as well as how you can use the facilities surrounding your property.
Here are a few common questions relating to strata properties and the answers tenants need to know.
What Are Common Areas and How Can I Use Them?
Common areas in a strata complex may include passageways, staircases, driveways, lifts, foyers, car parks, fences and shared laundries. These shared amenities and property exteriors don’t belong to any one lot but are jointly owned and managed by all the property owners (the body corporate).
Some common property rules to be aware of include:
- gardening in common outdoor areas – tenants are generally not allowed to start a garden in common areas
- children in common areas – children will generally not be permitted to play in common areas or certain activities (such as ball games) may be prohibited
- obstructing a common area – access to common areas must be maintained for all owners, residents and visitors at all times
If you have concerns about the condition of a common area, you should inform your landlord. They can bring your concerns to the body corporate committee or the professional strata managers who look after the strata-titled property.
How Are Noise Complaints Handled in Strata Properties?
As a tenant, you are responsible for ensuring that excessive, offensive or inappropriate noise is not coming from your apartment. In return, you are entitled to the same peace and quiet from owners, tenants and other occupiers of neighbouring properties.
The Strata Titles Act and individual property by-laws both address noise complaints in strata properties. If you are unable to resolve the issue amicably with your neighbour, you should make a complaint to your landlord, who can bring it forward to the committee or strata managers. They are then entitled to act on the issue through formal warnings and further action if required.
How Does Car Parking Work for Strata Properties?
In most cases, you will be assigned a car park or car parks that you are free to use or offer to guests. In some cases, designated car parks will also be available to guests.
Neither you nor your guests should use another resident’s car park without first gaining permission. If a parking space is part of a resident’s lot and not considered common property, they may grant you permission to park in their space.
Tradies, delivery people and other professional drivers may need to follow specific check-in procedures when parking in strata property. If a driver needs to park in a common area for any reason, tenants should first seek permission to do so.
Do Tenants Get to Know Who the Strata Manager Is?
As a tenant in a strata property, your landlord or property manager is your point of contact for maintenance issues, complaints or enquiries. A strata manager, and therefore your landlord, may withhold information about a strata company due to privacy issues, but your landlord is obliged to follow up any information provided with the strata management committee.
Gow Property – Strata Experts for Owners & Tenants in Perth
At Gow Property, we offer a range of services for strata owners, tenants and property investors, including property management and strata management.
For more useful information for all tenants, click here, or feel free to contact us today. Visit us online or call 08 6389 7777.