Strata title is a form of ownership devised for multi-level apartment blocks and horizontal subdivisions with shared areas. The word "strata" refers to apartments being on different levels.
Strata title was first introduced in 1961 in the state of New South Wales, Australia, to better cope with the legal ownership of apartment blocks. Previously, the only adequate method of dividing ownership was company title, which had a number of defects, such as the difficulty of instituting mortgages. This term also applies to house-type strata title units in Australia.
Other countries that have adopted the Australian system (or a similar variant) of apartment ownership include: Canada (Alberta, British Columbia), Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Other countries have legislation based on similar principles but with different definitions and using different mechanisms in their administration.
Strata Title Schemes are composed of individual lots and common property. Lots are either apartments, garages or storerooms and each is shown on the title as being owned by a Lot Owner. Common Property is defined as everything else on the parcel of land that is not comprised in a Lot, such as common stairwells, driveways, roofs, gardens and so on.
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