What do I own? Buying Duplexes & Units

When you are looking at buying a duplex or unit you are looking at buying a part of a Community Titles Scheme. These schemes are comprised of individually owned lots or units and common property which is shared by the owners. 
Common Property is the areas that are not in the boundaries of the Survey plan of the lot you’re purchasing and usually include the exterior grounds, the exterior facade of a building (including the walls and doors and the exterior surfaces), pools, basements, foyers and roof tops. All common property is the responsibility of the Body Corporate. 

Within the survey plan of the lot you purchase is generally the duplex or unit (including all its fittings and fixtures except any common property as may be mentioned above), any balconies or backyards and courtyards that are to be exclusively used by the owner of the lot and may include in some instances pools that are also for the exclusive use of the owner of the lot. 

Importantly, the balcony rails and any external light fittings on the façade of the building are generally Common Property and cannot be changed without seeking the approval of the Body Corporate. This is to ensure that the building maintains a unified appearance. 

The body corporate for a community titles scheme is composed of all the owners in the scheme. Every new owner automatically becomes a member of the body corporate. 

The body corporate must elect a committee at each annual general meeting. If not enough members are interested in forming a body corporate committee, then an external body corporate manager can be appointed to carry out the functions of the committee.

If you are looking at purchasing or have already purchased a unit or duplex and are unsure what is included within your lot, our property team can assist you. Contact any of the property team on 07 5440 4800 or info@spmlaw.com.au

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