According to Wikipedia, a strata title is a form of ownership which is devised for multi-level apartment blocks and horizontal subdivisions with shared areas. The 'strata' part of the term refers to apartments being on different levels, or 'strata'. It was first introduced in 1961 in Australia, to cope with the legal ownership of the apartment blocks.
Well, to simplify the definition more, a strata title is the ultimate proof of ownership.
The strata title usually applies to flats, apartments and condominiums, and in recent cases, it also applied to certain landed developments as well as townhouses. It is a document that specifies and defines the owner's name on a stratified space.
I am still wondering if the helipad is considered common area. =)
The Strata Titles Act 1985 covers almost every aspect and area in a multi-storey development, including the accessory parcels - which usually covers elements such as car parking bays and roofs. Under the Act, the strata title entitles the owner to certain advantages and privileges. For the owner, having the strata title enables them to sell the property without having to go through the developer's consent. When the strata titles are issued, the management committee - a committee that consists of actual owners/buyers - is formed to manage the property's maintenance.
So, why is the strata title so important?
Apart from being the ultimate proof of ownership, the strata title would also contain important information of the total built-up areas of the unit - which also determines the apportionment of the share units in the total aggregate shares, giving them the privilege as a 'shareholder' with voting rights during the Annual General Meetings. Some would also agree that the strata title is the best document to present to the banks for loans and charges. There are still plenty of other benefits of having the strata titles.
However, based on my knowledge as well as my survey of various apartment owners, there are quite a number of developments that have not issued their strata titles. As the issuance of the strata titles involves a major cost, there would be some developers who delay this part of the works.
Our first and maiden development, 3 Two Square - was completed and handed over in 2007, and we took the responsibility as the developer to apply and proceed for the issuance of the strata titles, of which the titles were released to the owners in 2008.