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What Is Strata Title?

PropertyStrata literally means ‘in the air’. Strata property is also known as land or building to be subdivided later or property without title. Once all development in which the properties are built on high-rise building more than two storey high and is sold individually, is called a strata property. However, it can be said that all property without title including landed property which doesn’t has a title is now known as strata property as there are properties which are not built on high-rise but use all the rules that apply to strata title.

In my opinion, strata title is a defunct term as the world of housing development evolves. Even the agreement which is the format which the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989 had prescribed for strata title, Schedule H, has changed to ‘Building or Land to be Subdivided’. Subdividing is the process of dividing a large parcel of land into smaller parcel so it can be individually owned. Hence strata title is a part of the subdivision concept.

When someone lives in a condominium, one still wants to own the unit one is living in although one may not own everything related to the unit such as the corridor outside the unit. Strata title property is governed by Strata Title Act 1974 and is only issued when all the requirements for its issuance have been complied with. In the Strata Title Act 1974, the housing developer must apply for the strata title upon completion of the building within six months from the date of issuance of certificate of completion and compliance.

In order to understand the concept of strata property, let us look at the dynamic of strata living. When these types of properties were first introduced, the idea is that all the high rise buildings will have rules to govern the few shared resources that these buildings have. These shared resources are not confined to facilities like a swimming pool or the landscape within a condominium compound but also the walls which an owner shares with the neighboring unit and the ceiling which on the flipside is also someone else’s floor.

In a high rise, whichever way one looks, an owner is sharing a lot more of the common space with the neighbors than when one owns a landed property where the boundaries can be easily identified. Another distinctive difference between strata living and other type of properties are the need for the owner to pay maintenance charges and each resident responsibility to be active and participate in the management of the condominium.

Then, when the housing developers became creative, it was discovered that strata living is not the only type of property which will require the resident to share their property’s walls or one part of the wall with other residents.

The housing developers started to offer exclusive gated community and condominiums with adjacent landed property within the same compound. As the government was left behind in governing these types of properties, the property law was amended in 2007 and now all types of properties can be govern like how strata properties are governed. These properties offer facilities which are nearly the same as what strata properties provide and these types of properties were properly governed by the amendments in 2007. As properties with strata titles have their own law, the Strata Title Act 1974 was also amended to include these properties.

The individual title issued for strata properties is like any other individual title which you might have seen. However, the issuance of such title is known to take a very long time.

There is a one-stop centre at local government level to facilitate the process of issuance of individual titles for strata titles. However, it is well-known that an individual titles for a housing development which has strata titles as part of it will take more than five years to be issued.

Until 2005, there are still flats and apartments which are in a sorry state but have yet to be issued with individual titles. Some were built in 1980s! That is why in 2007, the law was changed to make sure that any housing development approval is processed by a stop-stop centre which can expedite the process of checking and approving the issuance of strata titles.

(This is a guest post by Khairul Anuar. His new eBook titled Lawyer Hartanah has just been released.)

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One Response to "What Is Strata Title?"

  1. Strata title means subdivided the property by law. Thanks a lot to describe the strata title in brief now my confusion is clear. I am looking more forward from you.

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