Australian Strata Laws Lead the Charge

In 1961, the first Australian strata title laws were passed. These laws made it possible to subdivide airspace by reference to walls, floors and ceilings.

Under this ingenious legal concept you could individually hold the title deed to your apartment, evidencing your separate ownership of this space and share the common supports, infrastructure, services and facilities with the other owners in the block by membership of what were initially called bodies corporate (later to become known in some jurisdictions as owners corporations).

Problem solved. No more pesky interfering co-owners to thwart the freedom of the individual when it comes to dealing with their homes, even if they were just flats or home units as they became known at this time. Banks could lend to individual owners who, under this system, could change their asset as they pleased. It also meant owners could pass their title to others without the consent of the company and rent the apartments for as long or as short a period as they liked, to whomever they liked.

Five decades on, the Australian strata title system has evolved to be one of the most sophisticated systems of its type in the world. Our laws have become the model for many other countries and allow us flexibility to develop the built environment to meet the ever-changing needs and wants of our society.

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