What you need to know about new Community Scheme legislation

With community schemes about to be introduced via theCommunityTitles Act 2018,we wantto answersome of thequestionsyoumay haveabout whatCommunityTitlesareandwhatyou canexpectwith the new legislation.

Whatsbeentheproblem?

Large modern daystratadevelopmentsare more and more commonly comprised of a mixture of retail, commercial andresidential elements. Thesemixed-useelementsare managed undertheStrataTitles Act 1985.

Given the mixture of uses, its not uncommon to see tension arisebetweenlot owners of the different use types, particularlyinthe way that contributions or levies have been allocated and ownership andliability for common propertyhas beenapportioned.

How will the new legislationsolvethis issue?

TheCommunityTitles Act 2018willintroduce new form of land tenure in WA(thecommunity scheme)thatwill enable the subdivision of a single parcel of freehold land into multipleschemes.By way of example,asingle tower development could have retail on the ground floor, three levels ofoffices and then sixlevels of residential above theoffices.

The existingStrata TitlesActremainsin place unchanged.

Once the legislation comes into effect on 1 July 2021, newdevelopments will be able to be subdivided bythenewcommunityscheme,creatinguptothreetiersof scheme ina singlebuilding.

Each scheme will have:

  • its own community corporation established on registration of thescheme;
  • itsown set of scheme by-laws togovern the scheme;and
  • its own common property that the ownersofthatschemeown, can use exclusively and are solely responsible for maintaining.

This will give each scheme withinthe building a degree of autonomywhich cantbe achieved in a strata scheme.

Will Community Titles provisions be incorporated into the JointForm of General Conditions?

Yes,the Joint Form will be amendedto provide for Community Titles in late 2021 or early 2022.

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