How Do Strata Fees Work?

First home buyers may choose to purchase an apartment or townhouse as their first property – they often offer a more affordable price point for a central location when compared to house and land.Apartments, villas, townhouses, and duplexes are residential buildings that have a “strata scheme” in place. In essence, a strata means that you share ownership of the building with other people, while still owning your own apartment.

If you are looking at purchasing an apartment or unit, you need to understand your obligations under the strata scheme. Owners in the complex share responsibility for common grounds and communal amenities, such as:

  • Gardens
  • Gyms
  • Pools
  • Driveways
  • Stairwells
  • Foyers and lobbies
  • Lifts
  • The building exterior

A strata scheme allows all owners in the building to contribute to the management of these common areas, and a building that is under such a strata scheme is called the “body corporate”. Strata fees are paid to the body corporate, and fall under three categories:

  • Administrative Fund Levies: Regular expenses such as cleaning common areas, maintaining shared gardens, body corporate insurance and any general maintenance.
  • Sinking Fund Levies: The sinking fund is used for larger scale expenses such as replacing a roof, repairing a driveway, or repainting the outside of the building.
  • Special Levies: If maintenance of the common property is required that does not fall under the administrative or sinking funds, it becomes a special levy.

It is important to note that even if you rent out your property, you are still responsible for the strata fees and they are not required if you are renting the property. The cost varies depending on the amenities available – for example, maintaining a lift and pool is much more expensive than simply managing a shared garden. Generally, though, you will pay between $550 and $2500 per quarter, and these strata fees are typically tax deductible.

If you have any further questions about strata fees and body corporate, get in touch with our Customer Success team via phone at 1300 403 204 or message the team at https://smarthomedepositcom.au/contact-us.html. We look forward to helping you achieve your Smart Home Deposit goals!