• What you need to know about the new Community Scheme legislation

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    Modern apartment buildings.

    With community schemes about to be introduced via the Community Titles Act 2018, we want to answer some of the questions you may have about what Community Titles are and what you can expect with the new legislation. 

    What’s been the problem? 

    Large modern day strata developments are more and more commonly comprised of a mixture of retail, commercial and residential elements. These mixed-use elements are managed under the Strata Titles Act 1985. 

    Given the mixture of uses, it’s not uncommon to see tension arise between lot owners of the different use types, particularly in the way that contributions or levies have been allocated and ownership and liability for common property has been apportioned. 

    How will the new legislation solve this issue? 

    The Community Titles Act 2018 will introduce new form of land tenure in WA (the ‘community scheme’) that will enable the subdivision of a single parcel of freehold land into multiple schemes. By way of example, a single tower development could have retail on the ground floor, three levels of offices and then six levels of residential above the offices. 

    The existing Strata Titles Act remains in place unchanged. 

    Once the legislation comes into effect on 1 July 2021, new developments will be able to be subdivided by the new community scheme, creating up to three tiers of scheme in a single building. 

    Each scheme will have: 

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

    This will give each scheme within the building a degree of autonomy which can’t be achieved in a strata scheme. 

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

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

    For more information, contact REIWA’s Advocacy and Policy Manager, David Modolo at [email protected]