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Strata Jargon – Learning the Basics

People that are involved in strata matters often find they come across many new terms and jargon that are regularly used in documents and discussions. On occasion this strata lingo can be confusing even to those who have had years of experience in dealing with strata matters. This is due to the broad-range of subjects that require attention to ensure smooth processes in strata titled property. Strata title was first introduced in 1961 in NSW, Australia and it fast became an innovative solution to improving the legal ownership of apartment blocks. The term ‘strata’ refers to apartments being on different levels or ‘strata’. Being involved in strata matters comes with great benefits such as having a direct influence on a vast majority of decisions that govern your strata scheme. Below we have provided a glossary to help you with the most commonly used strata jargon and acronyms:

Agenda – A list of motions or issues to be voted upon or discussed at a meeting

AGM – Annual General Meeting where owners consider the financial position and direction of the body corporate

BCCM Act – Most bodies corporate are a community titles scheme registered under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the BCCM Act). In addition to the BCCM Act, each scheme is registered under one of five regulation modules. There are also regulations that apply to all bodies corporate

BCCM Office – Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management

BCM – A body corporate can engage a Body Corporate Manager to supply administrative services to the body corporate

BFP – A Building Format Plan is a form of subdivision which usually applies to multi-story unit complexes, and in some cases, other developments like townhouses. A BFP defines land using the structural elements of a building, including floors, walls and ceilings

BUP– A Building Unit Plan is an old type of Survey Plan which the scheme was originally registered

CMS – A Community Management Statement is a document which identifies scheme land and complies with the requirements of the BCCM Act. Particulars recorded in a CMS include the body corporate name, lot entitlements schedule and by-laws. The CMS identifies the regulation module of the scheme, and references the relevant act for any exclusions or bylaws.

Committee – The body corporate must elect a committee at each annual general meeting. The committee consists of executive members (a chairperson, secretary and treasurer) and any ordinary members. Depending on the size of the scheme, committees vary in size from at least three to no more than seven people. The committee is in charge of:
• looking after the administrative and day-to-day running of the body corporate
• making decisions on behalf of the body corporate
• putting the lawful decisions of the body corporate into place

CTS – Community Title Scheme or also commonly known as Strata Title or Group Title

EGM – An Extraordinary General Meeting is any general meeting of the body corporate that is not the annual general meeting. An EGM can be held at any time of the year. A body corporate can have as many or as few EGMs as it wants

GTP – Group Title Plan is an old type of Survey Plan which the scheme was originally registered

RUM – Resident Unit Manager or Caretaker is engaged by the body corporate to carry out specific duties, such as regular maintenance and also who can also be authorised as a letting agent for the scheme

SFP – A Standard Format Plan, previously known as a Group Title Plan (GTP), defines land horizontally, using marks on the ground or a structural element of a building (e.g. survey pegs in the ground or the corner of a building). A community titles scheme registered under standard format plan can include a townhouse complex where each lot has a building and a yard

SP – Survey Plans are the official record of the legal boundaries of land, Title Boundaries, and will usually indicate the dimensions and size of a lot

This article was contributed by Joel Mcbride. Joel has extensive experience in the Strata Management industry and manages a variety of schemes throughout the Whitsundays, Mackay and Mining Regions. Alongside his Strata experience, Joel has spent over 20 years in various roles within the property industry – including surveying, real estate and various project development roles.

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