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What is strata?

By Andrew Bell

Purchasing investment real estate in Surfers Paradise is a smart move to make for your future. With the expected levels of growth heading towards the Gold Coast, getting into the residential property market and securing a position in the region could be great for your finances – especially as the area continues to develop. There are a lot of different types of property in the region, with apartments being one of the most abundant in the central city area. 

Therefore, it could be worth investigating medium-density dwellings available in the community. But one thing to keep in mind should you decide to commit to a Surfers Paradise apartment is the concept of strata. Before getting started, wrapping your head around this concept could help to save you a number of headaches in the long run – especially if this is your first time buying investment property in Australia. 

What is strata?

Having a grasp on what strata is can help you make the best decision with regards to whether or not you want to pursue this avenue. At the most basic level, strata refers to a type of property ownership whereby multiple people have individual ownership of their own part of a building, while taking shared responsibility for communal areas. 

For example, buying in a Surfers Paradise apartment building that has a strata means that you would own your own apartment in the building, alongside a number of other individuals who all own their an apartment as well. However, the shared spaces lie gardens and gyms – and the fixtures within these spaces – are owned by everyone involved with the strata title. 

There are a number of benefits that can come with belonging to a strata title. For one, these apartments can be of a higher quality than individual, freehold properties while also being a cheaper price in the long run. This makes them perfect for first-time investors looking to get their foot up onto the Australian investment ladder as soon as possible. 

Furthermore, belonging to a strata means the costs of repairs for things like fences, doors and other fixes around the building are shared by the owners. Not only does this reduce the amount you're spending on maintenance, but this also means problems will be taken care of as soon as possible – thanks to the vested interests of all the collected owners in having the building look tip top.

What does being a strata member entail? 

Buying into a strata scheme puts you squarely in with the rest of the apartment owners in the building, which means there are regular meetings about the way the building is being run. This platform gives you the chance to voice any concerns or issues that you may have seen in the building, allowing for a democratic approach to the problem.

Another thing to keep in mind are the levies to be paid as part of your membership. When it comes to your own apartment, there's an understanding between yourself and the tenants that they will be responsible for keeping the property clean and tidy. However, any big fixes that need to be made are referred to you as the landlord, who is expected to take care of these. 

However, these aforementioned public areas – like the lobbies, elevators and parking lots – are taken care of by the strata owner's corporation. While you don't have to worry about these specifically, you will be required to pay quarterly levies to help cover the costs of any repairs or maintenance done in these spaces. 

If you're looking into buying investment property in Surfers Paradise, it could be worth considering strata as an avenue. There are varying degrees of support that can help you make the most of your investment portfolio. 

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