Creating & Changing Strata Schemes

Strata Titles Development
Merger and Conversion
Strata Titles Development

In Western Australia, the relevant local government authorities and the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) are responsible for the zoning, planning and approval process for the creation of strata titles schemes and changes affecting the lots and common property in a strata titles scheme.

The Act sets out requirements for approvals from relevant authorities and the requirements for registration of schemes by the Registrar of Titles. The Act also specifies the requirements for approvals and registration of amendments to scheme plans that effect a subdivision.

Amendments to scheme plans that effect a subdivision include converting a lot to common property, transferring common property out of the scheme, bringing land into the scheme as additional common property, consolidating lots in the scheme and the most common form of plan amendment, re-subdividing lots to create more or different lots and common property.

It is not permitted to re-subdivide a strata lot to create survey-strata lots or vice versa. Lots on a scheme plan must always be the same type (i.e. strata or survey-strata).

There are several factors to be considered in the planning and development approval process. It is advisable to consult with the relevant authorities and appropriate professionals, such as planning consultants and licensed land surveyors, as well as conveyancers, to ensure the process is completed without unnecessary delay and/or additional cost.

When considering strata titling a property, it is also always advisable to check the certificate of title to ensure there are no restrictions against subdividing the land, such as a single dwelling restrictive covenant. It can be a prolonged process to get the removal of such a covenant from the land.

Merger and Conversion
 

Owners in a single tier strata scheme registered before 1 January 1998 who wish to merge buildings and/or land into

strata lots or convert to survey-strata must engage a licensed land surveyor and licensed land valuer to assist with the merger/conversion process.

Schedule 2A of the Act has some simplified processes for merger and conversion for such schemes.

For strata schemes registered after 1 January 1998, there is no simplified process to convert to survey-strata (the strata scheme must be terminated first). Strata schemes registered after 1 January 1998 can merge common property into lots, convert lots to common property and re-subdivide lots by amendment of the scheme plan to bring a subdivision into effect.

Please note the conversion of common property may have capital gains tax implications for some strata owners.

Please contact your taxation adviser or the Australian Taxation Office for further information.

For more information on how to merge common property or convert to a survey-strata scheme, please refer to Landgate’s ‘Land Transactions Toolkit’ on the Landgate website, or call Landgate’s Customer Service team for more information.

Re-subdivision
 

See sections 35(1)(e) and 56 of the Act

This section covers how the Act deals with structural alterations on lots, and not common property. The Act requirements are in addition to development and building approvals, which might be required under other legislation (e.g. Planning and Development Act 2005 and Building Act 2011). A consequence of non-compliance with the Act is that SAT may order an owner of a lot to remove the alteration.

 

The term structural alteration is used to cover the erection of a structure on a lot and an alteration of a structural kind to, or extension of a structure within the lot, by the lot owner. Structure has been further defined in regulation 73 of the STGR 2019 to include any dwelling, shop, factory, commercial premises, garage, carport, shed or other building or improvement, whether free standing or annexed to or incorporated with any existing building on the lot:

  • the construction or erection of which is required to be approved by the local government or any other authority

  • the area of which is to be taken into account for the purposes of determining the plot ratio restrictions or open space requirements for the lot.

© 2003-2019 by Abode Strata. Privacy Policy
The advice within is general and has been prepared without taking into account any specific or personal objectives, financial situation or needs.

Please also note this general advice was provided prior to the new strata title amendments were proclaimed and will be updated in due course.

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