Smarter Conveyancing for Strata Conveyancing

Helping To Demystify the Complexities of Strata Property


Strata Conveyancing in Sydney and NSW

The strata conveyancing process can often be more complex than buying or selling a freehold property. Extra layers of legalities are involved with the strata company, owners corporation or community association, creating additional rules and regulations to be abided by.

With expertise in strata law, our partners at Smarter Conveyancing will ensure you receive all the guidance you need to make an informed sale or purchase.

Call us today to see how our strata conveyancing team can help with buying or selling a strata title property.

What Is Strata and What Do You Own?

Strata is an increasingly popular, convenient, and often more affordable way of owning property in NSW.

But what does a strata title involve?

A scheme of ownership, a strata title is where an individual owns a portion or “lot” of the property/building and shares ownership of common property. In short, you’re part of a community. 

Most commonly residential apartments or townhouses, strata title properties can also exist as commercial premises, serviced apartments, retirement or care homes and retail spaces.

strata property australia

What Do You Own With a Strata Title Property?

As a strata title holder, you own the inside of your individual property, also known as a “lot” or the “lot airspace.”

Depending on the strata scheme, there can be small variations in what you own, but it will usually include:

  • Internal walls.
  • Lights.
  • Curtains and blinds.
  • Carpets.
  • Bathroom fittings, such as toilets and baths.
  • Kitchen cupboards and work surfaces.

    You also obtain shared ownership of any remaining land and buildings, referred to as unit entitlement. Common areas that fall under your entitlement will vary depending on what is specified in the strata plan. Typically, they can include: 

    • Communal laundry rooms.
    • Stairwells and hallways.
    • Lifts.
    • Driveways.
    • Swimming pools/gymnasiums/tennis courts.
    • Gardens.
    • BBQ areas.
    • Communal recreational spaces.

    It can also include parts of the building, such as:

    • Common walls.
    • External doors.
    • Roofs.
    • Pipes.
    • Electrical wiring.

    The strata title document will list any common areas and their boundaries. It is important that you are aware of which common property makes up part of your lot — this will affect what kind of changes you can make and any approvals you may require.

    What is considered common property can vary from one strata scheme to another, even different sales within the same strata scheme. To be sure of what you own, your conveyancer will check the strata title/plan and relevant by-laws.

    What Are the Challenges of Buying or Selling a Strata Property?

    You should be aware of the complexities of buying or selling strata properties. 

    Selling Strata Property

    When you’re the vendor (seller), it’s your responsibility to provide certain details/documents relating to your strata scheme and your property. For example, among others, it is a legal requirement to provide all strata by-laws for inclusion within the Contract of Sale. 

    Additionally, failure to enclose any of the essential documents may delay or put your sale in jeopardy. In worst-case scenarios, the final Contract of Sale may be voided.

    With a strata conveyancing solicitor by your side, we can collate and prepare the information in a timely manner — ensuring nothing is forgotten and the sale continues smoothly.

    Buying Strata Property

    When you’re buying a strata title, you should be well-informed before making any decisions on your potential purchase. 

    Although you can perform many of the searches required yourself, strata is a convoluted process, and it’s very easy to miss something.

    Furthermore, it is essential to understand the legal framework of the strata you are buying into. That is, what you own, the by-laws and obligations you’ll need to follow when living in the strata community, and what you can and cannot do with the property. 

    At Smarter Conveyancing, our partners are experts in strata law, they can help explain your obligations as a buyer so you have the full picture. Furthermore, they can negotiate with other parties if any areas need further clarification.

    Other Considerations

    With the owners corporation as an extra body to the vendor/purchaser relationship, strata property transactions can be much more complicated than traditional freeholds. 

    Additionally, with strata legislation and the acts set out by the NSW authorities constantly evolving — (the last amendment was in 2023) — a conveyancer specialising in strata transactions has their finger on the pulse of all the latest changes.

    What Strata Conveyancing Documents Do You Need?

    For a strata property sale/purchase to take place, in addition to the usual property transfer paperwork, the following documents relating to the strata scheme are necessary. While some are a legal requirement, others are advisable for the buyer to get a picture of the strata scheme in its entirety — requested within/via a strata report.

      • Certificate of Title and Common Property and Strata Plan — detailing all lots and unit entitlements in the scheme. 
      • Subject Lot Strata Roll printout — the title details of the specific lot being sold/bought, the current owner, and the unit entitlements.
      • Subject Lot Levy — a statement of the current levy amounts (paid) and the dates the levies are paid up until.
      • Strata By-Laws.
      • Section 184 Certificate.
      • Funds Balance Sheet of the Strata Scheme — for both the capital works and administrative funds of the owners corporation.
      • Certificate of Insurance and Valuation — detailing the total amount the strata scheme is insured for to replace the property if damaged.
      • Income and Expenditure Statements for the current year of the strata scheme in addition to the previous five years’ records.
      • Fire Safety Certificate — confirming the fire safety measures that have been installed for the strata scheme and annually inspected. 
      • Forecast of the Capital Works Fund.
    • Minutes of Strata Scheme meetings AGMs (5 years), strata committee and any special meetings. 
    • Any other relevant documents — including an asbestos report and OHS/WHS reports, if completed, any defects or building reports, quotes and important correspondence for the strata scheme.
    What Strata Conveyancing Documents Do You Need?

    Let’s Chat About How We Can Make Your Life Easier 

    Our Strata Conveyancing Services

    Here are the key stages of strata conveyancing, and how we can help make the process run smoothly.

    Selling a Strata Property

    Once you have made the decision to sell, you are going to need to engage a conveyancer who specialises in strata law to assist in preparing the property for sale, drawing up a Contract of Sale and managing all the legal aspects up until the final settlement certificate.

    Preparing a Strata Property for Sale

    When selling a strata property, just like any other property, you are going to want to make sure that it’s in the best possible condition for a quicker sale and a better price. 

    Presenting your property also applies to the paperwork aspect. Our team of experienced strata conveyancers are well-versed in common property and strata by-laws. With this thorough knowledge, you can set the expectations of any potential buyer from the outset of the deal — avoiding issues further along the sale process.

    Draw Up Contract of Sale

    The Contract of Sale for a strata property is a different format to selling a freehold property. The vendor is required to provide the ‘standard’ property selling information, and the additional strata details/documents, including attaching the by-laws to the final Contract of Sale.

    With years of expertise in the strata law of NSW, our team of strata conveyancers can make the sale much simpler, guiding you through each step with advice in plain-spoken English — no technical jargon!


    Your conveyancer will ensure all documentation required by the Contract of Sale is provided for settlement. This includes land tax documents from the NSW Revenue Department and a Levies Paid certificate from the strata owners corporation.

    We will liaise with both parties, banks or financial institutions to ensure everything is in place to settle the financial side of the sale on settlement day.

    Buying a Strata Property

    Just as conveyancing for apartments or houses, when conveyancing for units, there are several reports your strata solicitor should obtain for you before you decide to go ahead with the purchase.

    Our expert strata conveyancers will ensure all necessary documents are included in the Contract of Sale, make any necessary searches and order any reports to ensure all your queries are answered and your interests protected. 

    Review Strata By-Laws and Regulations

    When considering purchasing a strata title, your strata conveyancer will review all the by-laws of the strata scheme you must abide by. 

    Make sure the by-laws suit your lifestyle, as they may cover:

    • Rules for pet ownership in the strata scheme.
    • The approval procedure for making alterations to your lot.
    • Rules for parking of vehicles.
    • Areas where children can play.

    Our strata conveyancing team will discuss, highlight any areas of concern and expertly explain the do’s and don’ts of your potential strata scheme, so you are fully aware of the living rules. 

    Request* and Review the Strata Report

    It is advisable to obtain a full strata report before you buy a strata unit. This report can reveal any important issues you should consider before deciding to proceed.

    A strata report can be compiled by Smarter Conveyancing’s team of strata specialists and will look at issues such as:

    • What the regular levies are or any special levies you may need to contribute.
    • Any evidence of structural problems with the property that may require further expense in the future.
    • Whether the strata management body has an adequate reserve of funds available.
    • Any history of disputes or litigations between the owners.
    • The by-laws regarding important issues such as pet ownership, renovation or refurbishment.

    *Although the vendor or owner may issue a strata report to assist in the sale of their property, there are no legal obligations in what it should include. Experienced strata conveyancers at Smarter Conveyancing can request any missing information from the owners corporation to make sure you have your own in-depth strata report.

    With years of experience in strata conveyancing, let our partners at Smarter Conveyancing handle all the negotiations and searches to provide a comprehensive strata inspection report and protect your interests.

    Titling Information

    With any transfer of property, you must understand any registered interests in the property title. For strata titles, you can find this information in the subject lot strata roll printout and Certificate of Title.

    Other information may include any right-of-way easements allowing non-strata members access to the land, and restrictions on building or renovation works you may wish to carry out.

    By reviewing all the title certificates and strata plan lot printout, we can clarify whether the ownership information is correct and raise any issues before you decide to purchase the property.

    Financial Health of The Strata Scheme Report

    A Section 184 Certificate will also be requested by your conveyancer from the owner or with the owner’s permission from the owners corporation.

    While much of the information will overlap with the strata report — the Section 184 Certificate is produced by one of the strata committee members or the strata management agent in return for a fee and will include the official seal of the strata committee.

    To protect your interests and check for any issues that may affect the sale, our legal experts will review all the information, including:

    • All names and addresses of strata committee members, including the managing agent and where applicable the building manager.
    • Levies which are to be paid by the owners.
    • Outstanding levies on the lot you are purchasing.
    • A 10-year capital works plan with proposals for funding.
    • Any by-laws which have been added or amended within 6 months of the date of the certificate.
    • An address where you can view the records and any financial statements.
    • If a strata renewal committee exists to sell or redevelop the strata properties.

    Our strata conveyancing team have a wide area of expertise in the strata laws of NSW. We will ensure coordination between all parties for a smooth transfer.

    Settlement/ Registration 

    Once settlement has been completed, we will make sure all documents are registered with NSW Land Registry Services. 

    Additionally, our conveyancers will ensure the transfer is registered with the strata committee or owners corporation within the legally specified time period.

    Choose Smarter Conveyancing for Your Strata Conveyancing Needs

    At Smarter Conveyancing, we care about generating the best outcome for you by pulling together the expertise you need. With the right guidance and legal advice from our specialist strata team, you can negotiate the world of strata titles with confidence — whether you are a buyer or seller of property.

    And, with our end-to-end solutions, we are beside you every step of the strata conveyancing process.

    ✔Covering Sydney and NSW.

    ✔Network of strata conveyancing specialists. 

    ✔Offering a personalised approach.

    ✔Competitive, all-inclusive rates — no hidden fees!

    ✔Transparent — sharing straightforward advice and info. 

    ✔Friendly, knowledgeable experts.

    ✔Striving for the best results, always.

    If you are thinking about buying or selling a strata property, don’t search for a strata conveyancer near me, you’ve found us! Get in touch with Smarter Conveyancing today.

    Let’s Chat About How We Can Make Your Life Easier