When you buy an apartment, you buy a specific lot within a whole building. But the apartments don’t take up all of the available space within a building – what remains is called Common Property – and it’s important to understand what that means.
These are just some of the areas of an apartment building that are considered to be Common Property:
- Building entrances and foyers
- Staircases and hallways
- Shared rooftop areas and facilities
- Shared dining rooms
- Gyms, swimming pools, etc
- Gardens, courtyards, and all shared ground up to the perimeter of the property
Basically, everything that is not part of an individually owned lot is Common Property.
Image: Veridian, Kogorah
Maintenance and improvements
Your Owners Corporation or Strata Fees cover the costs of the maintenance and running of all common property within your apartment development.
Of course, cleaning of these areas is a regular weekly outgoing for most apartment buildings, as well as the upkeep of any common garden areas and building facades. But there may also be ongoing improvements and upgrades that are occasionally required. For example, if a new coat of paint is needed, this has to be approved by the OC committee, as it must be paid for out of the OC’s funds.
If there are issues with any of these aspects of your apartment building, get in touch with your Owners Corporation.
Every building has some Common Property areas. But you might decide to buy an apartment in a building that has very little, instead of one that has a lot of shared amenities, gardens, terraces or other Common Property, in order to reduce your Owners Corporation fees. Decide what’s important to you and search appropriately.
Make the most of it
Remember, as an owner you are paying for the upkeep of all common areas – either directly as an owner or indirectly through your rent – so if there are common area amenities to be enjoyed, go ahead and enjoy them!
Hero image: The Springfield, Toorak
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