A statutory regime creating community titles has been introduced in WA.
The Community Titles Act 2018 commenced in full on 30 June 2021.
The principal object of the Act is to facilitate the subdivision of land into parcels for separate development or disposition, with an interest in associated land in the nature of common property. The separate parcels can then be further subdivided.
The Act permits a single parcel of freehold land to be subdivided in a way that creates up to 3 tiers of schemes in one community scheme. Each scheme has its own community corporation. A community corporation is similar in function to a strata owners corporation. It is established on registration of the scheme. Each scheme also has its own set of by-laws to govern it and the common property.
The Act enables the creation of community titles (land) schemes and community titles (building) schemes within a community scheme.
Community title usually applies to large estates. These can sometimes include more than one residential lot as well as commercial and retail lots. The management of community title schemes can be complex. They can often span large areas of land with mixed – potentially conflicting – uses. One issue that should be borne in mind by practitioners acting for purchasers of residential units in a property subject to a community title scheme is that there can be by-laws for both the strata scheme and the community titles scheme which apply to the lot the client is purchasing.
Much like strata titles, community title schemes are managed by committees and meetings. The community scheme committee deals with day-to-day issues and general meetings are held for more substantial issues.
These amendments bring WA property law into line with most other Australian states.
The commentary in the By Lawyers Conveyancing (WA) publication has been updated. It now includes details of how community schemes are created and operated, with specific commentary on:
- Community development statements;
- Scheme documents and registration;
- Functions of a community corporation; and
- Buyer information requirements.