A unit title (often called a stratum estate in freehold or leasehold) is the common title which is issued for an apartment/unit in a multi-unit development. In this case all unit owners are members of a ‘body corporate’. There is a secretary who is responsible for collection of a body corporate levy, which covers insurance and other common costs in relation to the building and common property. This is an annual levy and will be apportioned between you and the seller on settlement.

You should ensure that you know how much the body corporate levy is and what it covers. Before buying, you should discuss this with the secretary to obtain an understanding of how the body corporate is run and whether any substantial expenditure is contemplated. You should also consider looking at the last annual accounts for the body corporate. We recommend getting and approving a Section 36 (or Body Corporate) Certificate before confirmation of the contract.

When purchasing a unit you will be provided with a copy of the unit plan. This will show the outline of the unit you are purchasing, any accessory use units that you have exclusive use of, (such as a courtyard or carpark), and any common areas. It is imperative that the plan correctly shows all of the buildings on the land, especially the correct outline of your unit and accessory use areas you are entitled to use. If the plan does not correctly record what you inspected, it may defective. Most defects are capable of being remedied but that remedy could be expensive. You need to discuss that with your lawyer.