What Do I Own and What is Common Property?

For any lot owner and for an owners corporation, the really important question of who owns what needs to be established as the answer will dictate how a strata scheme is correctly managed and who is responsible for what parts of a strata scheme.



The picture below is an extract from a typical strata plan. Clearly this does not tell you all of the details about what is common property and what is lot property, which is described by the relevant legislation and case law.


General position (subject to exceptions)

The general rule applicable to the majority of strata schemes registered after 1 July 1974 is:

  • The structures located on the solid thick line, such as, that shown above at the registration of the strata plan are common property.
  • The ceiling , the structure of the floor including fixed tiles or floorboards, the electrical wiring located in the ceiling, external windows and balcony doors are usually all items of common property.
  • Internal walls, not shown on a strata plan are lot property and a structure located on a thin line is usually lot property.
  • Carpet, light fittings, blinds, curtains, toilet bowls, bath tubs and
     kitchen cupboards will all usually be lot property and the
    responsibility of a lot owner.


The following exceptions apply:

  • The adjacent general position is provided as a guide.
  • The general position does not apply to strata plans registered before July 1974.
  • To a limited extent notations on the strata plan can modify the general position.
  • Owners or owners corporations can with requisite authorisation alter, add to or remove common property after registration of the plan.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer so if in doubt, ask an expert to work it out.

***The information contained in this article is general information only and not legal advice. The currency, accuracy and completeness of this article (and its contents) should be checked by obtaining independent legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon its contents in any way.


Prepared by Bannermans Lawyers

6 May 2014


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For more information on this topic or any legal enquiries please contact your Strata Team.


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