Buying a unit or strata property

Some common questions about buying strata property:

This refers to the areas in the building that are owned by the strata scheme. When you buy a strata property you generally own everything inside your unit but not the actual building structure. Common property can include external walls, driveways, gardens, stairwells, roofs, pools, lifts etc. All of the individual owners in a strata property share the responsibility for looking after common property and must abide by the strata rules. The areas that are deemed ‘common property’ vary from one strata scheme to the next, so you will need to familiarise yourself with these when you buy your unit. For example, some may include balcony railings or garage doors.

That will depend on your building’s by-laws and common property areas. For example, you may be permitted to alter an internal wall but not the four main walls of your unit, as they are common property. You will often be able to make changes to floor coverings and kitchen/bathroom fittings (eg.the bath or bench tops) but you may need to seek specific approval from the owners corporation for certain changes that you wish to make.

All of the unit owners in the building will need to follow the rules of the strata scheme, known as the by-laws. For example, a by-law might be that owners cannot keep pets.

These are the fees that each unit owner must pay the Owners Corporation, usually every 3 months. This money is used to cover the maintenance and administration costs of the strata scheme such as the cost of electricity to light stairwells and garage areas. The amount is decided at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and is based on an estimate of what will be needed to cover expenses for the year

Some of the levy money is paid into the building’s sinking fund. This is used for future expenses that may not be foreseen. For example, a storm might damage the building’s roof. Money from the sinking fund would be used to pay the repair costs, rather than owners having to suddenly find the extra money to pay for repairs.

Yes. As a unit owner you become part of the Owners Corporation and get to contribute to the decisions and attend meetings.

Finding a loan (or mortgage) is an important part of buying a property. The property you are buying essentially acts as security for the mortgagee (the lender) so if you fail to make your loan repayments, the mortgagee can sell your unit to pay the debt. When deciding on the loan that best suits you, you need to consider the term of the loan (the length of time you have to repay it), the principal to be borrowed (the amount you are borrowing) and the the amount of interest to be paid. A Stacks Conveyancer can go over the terms of the loan with you and answer any questions you may have.

Our experts

Latest from Stacks

consent, sexual consent, sexual assault, sexual violence, sex act, sexual act, consensual, sexual intercourse, sexual activity, sexual, sex, violence, unconscious, incapacitated, underage, drugs, alcohol
13 Jun 2024
Surveys have found that half the population of Australia is confused about the new sexual consent laws and men in particular find it difficult to understand exactly when and how to...
Read the full story
adopted child, adoption, adoptive parent, challenge, estate, family provision, claim, Succession Act, Adoption Act, biological parent, biological child
30 May 2024
Adoptive parent assumes all rights and responsibilities once child is adopted Under the NSW Adoption Act 2000, any adoption or order made by a court transfers all legal rights and...
Read the full story
environmental crime, environment, environmental law, protection, polluter, pollution, anti-pollution, Environment Protection Authority, clean-up notice, asbestos, mulch, chemicals, recycling, name and shame, disposal, waste, penalty
24 May 2024
The recent discovery of asbestos-contaminated mulch across Sydney has highlighted the fact that NSW’s existing environmental laws do little to protect our surroundings from ...
Read the full story

Why Stacks Law Firm

What makes Stacks different and why you should choose us.

Stacks is the steady hand you can trust, the lawyers you know. The ones who care about where you’re from, what you’re going through and who treat you like a person, not just another case.

With the attention of one lawyer, backed by the expertise of many, we’re the only legal provider in Australia that gives businesses and everyday people access to expert legal services through a network of reputable local offices.

Legal challenges can feel confusing, even intimidating, but we know what you’re going through, we know the legal terrain, we view your case individually, and we can offer the care, reassurance and expertise to guide you every step of the way.

call us now


No hidden fees
We’ll always be honest and upfront. We’ll look you straight in the eye and agree on a plan before moving forward.

Deep expertise
We know the ropes and our professionals have expertise specific to every legal situation—many are Accredited Specialists.

Practical advice not legalese
We speak clearly and directly, so you understand our advice and can make decisions with confidence.

Network of local offices
We’re local to wherever you are, and our offices are owned and operated by friendly, local professionals, proud of their communities.

Real client care
We genuinely care about our clients. It’s the core of who we are and has been since the first practice was opened by ER Stack on the NSW Mid-North Coast in 1931.

Progressive practise
We make the process easy for you with the latest tech to keep services cost effective—and you in control.



We’ll always be honest and upfront. We’ll look you straight in the eye and agree on a plan before moving forward.
We know the ropes and our professionals have expertise specific to every legal situation—many are Accredited Specialists.
We speak clearly and directly, so you understand our advice and can make decisions with confidence.
We’re local to wherever you are, and our offices are owned and operated by friendly, local professionals, proud of their communities.
We genuinely care about our clients. It’s the core of who we are and has been since the first practice was opened by ER Stack on the NSW Mid-North Coast in 1931.
We make the process easy for you with the latest tech to keep services cost effective—and you in control.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

Complete the form to contact us today

We’re here to listen to your story anytime. We can help you understand how things work, give you confidence and guide you through your options. We’ll be honest and upfront, agreeing on what you need and how much it will cost. Your enquiry is completely confidential.

chat button

Fill out this form and one of our local law professionals will be in contact

By submitting this form you agree to the terms of our Privacy policy