When land is divided into at least two lots and an area of common property it is considered a community plan. Common property is the shared land such as driveways. A community title is issued for each lot and the common property.
There are two types of community titles – community strata and community scheme.
The boundaries are defined by the buildings on the community parcel. The buildings are part of the common property, so the community corporation must maintain and insure them.
The boundaries for each lot are defined by surveyed land measurements. The owner of each lot needs to maintain and insure buildings on their lot. The community corporation must insure any buildings or structures in common areas.
The community corporation is formed when the plan is deposited with Land Services SA. Its functions include:
- managing the common property
- enforcing by-laws
- managing development contracts.
Corporations must formally meet at least once a year to consider items such as insurance and any legal requirements. Each lot owner has one vote. If more than one person owns a lot, their vote counts as one vote.
The lot entitlements determine the amount each owner pays towards insurance and other fees. Entitlements are annexed in the community plan.
By-laws must provide for the administration, management and regulation of the use of the common property and community lots. A penalty can be imposed if a by-law is not followed.
The original by-laws document is lodged with Land Services SA at the same time as the community plan. By-laws can be varied by a special resolution at a community corporation meeting. The variation must be lodged with Land Services SA within 14 days of the resolution being passed.
Get a copy of your title
Requesting a copy of a certificate of title is called a 'Register search' on the South Australian Integrated Land Information System (SAILIS).
A certificate of title is an official record of land ownership. You might need this certificate for things such as development applications or applying for council approval for an addition to your property.
Converting company and moiety titles
Company and moiety titles were used before 1967 for units and flats and some still exist in South Australia. You can usually apply to change these titles into community or Torrens titles.
Dealing with a dispute
Your corporation should be able to help if you are having a problem with another lot owner.
Coping with a disruptive neighbour also provides useful information.
If the dispute is with your corporation, you can contact Community Mediation Services. They can act as a neutral third party to help you resolve the problem.
If mediation is not successful, you can apply to the Magistrates Court to decide the matter.
There is no government agency to oversee the management of strata titles or to resolve disputes.