What is Strata? (For Perth & WA)

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Very simply put, strata titles allow individuals to have ownership of part of a property and share ownership of the remaining areas. Typical examples include apartments, units and townhouses where you own a living space and share ownership of the common driveways, gardens and land.

Strata schemes (or plans) are the registered plans of a strata title property and are quite common in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors of Western Australia.


Benefits include being able to potentially purchase better quality buildings for less than non-strata freehold properties, on smaller, easy to manage lots in more desirable areas. Also, there are often shared cost benefits for things like painting, upkeep of grounds, fences and so on.

Strata property law actually originated in Australia and due to it’s unique benefits, has since been adopted by many other countries around the world. Over time, the property law has evolved and been refined, meaning much more complexity.

There are Two Types of Strata Schemes in WA

Below is a definition sourced from Landgate which explains the two strata schemes or plans.

1. Strata Scheme (Built Strata)

This is the original form of “strata scheme”, or “strata plan”, commonly known as a “building strata”. At least one building must be shown on these strata plans and the boundaries of the strata lots, including the height of the lots (stratum) are defined by reference to the building. Prior to 30 June 1985, lots could only be within a building.

After that date, part of the lot could also be the land outside the building and may also include the building structure. The lot boundaries are shown on the floor plan of the strata plan and the wording on the floor plan must be read in conjunction with the sketch to ascertain the lot boundaries.

2. Survey Strata Scheme

The Strata Titles Amendment Act 1995 created a new form of strata scheme known as a “survey-strata scheme”. No buildings are shown on a survey-strata plan, even though there may in fact be buildings on the survey-strata lots.

The boundaries of survey-strata lots are surveyed by a licensed land surveyor and shown on the survey-strata plan. The lots on a survey-strata plan look much the same as lots that are shown on surveys (deposited plans, plans and diagrams) for non-strata freehold titles.

Survey-strata lots may, or may not be limited in height. The height of a lot may be limited for a number of reasons, eg. to protect a neighbour’s view.

If there is a height limitation, it will be shown on the survey-strata plan and referenced to the Australian Height Datum (AHD).

Survey-strata schemes may have common property. If there is any common property in a survey-strata scheme, it is separately numbered as a lot and prefixed with the letters “CP”.

The other features and obligations which apply to strata schemes also apply to survey strata schemes, e.g. by-laws, common property, strata company, and structural alterations.

Sourced from Landgate

How Do I Know Which Scheme I Need?

Find out here.

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