Changes affecting company title home units from 1 October 2013 - Legislation update

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Date
25 September 2013
Category
Legislation updates

Overview

From 1 October 2013, residents of company title properties and stratum title subdivisions will have a more efficient way to resolve neighbourhood disputes.

Currently, residents must go to a court to resolve disputes about matters such as noise, residents’ conduct, use of common areas, unit repairs and maintenance, and pets.

Under the new Company Titles (Home Units) Act 2013, these disputes will be able to be heard by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

VCAT will have powers to make orders and impose penalties. However, it will not be able to alter a person’s shareholding or otherwise affect a company’s corporate governance.

The new legislation is expected to save time and money for residents and companies. It also brings their dispute resolution framework into line with that for owners corporations.

Background – Company title and stratum title

Under company title, a property does not have a plan of subdivision but comprises a number of units. A company title corporation, established under the Corporations Act 2001, is the registered proprietor of the entire property. Buying shares in the corporation entitles each shareholder to exclusive use and occupation of a unit.

Stratum title pre-dates modern strata title subdivisions. Under stratum title, the property is subdivided into lots. Each unit owner is the registered proprietor of their lot and also holds shares in a service company established under the Corporations Act 2001. The service company owns and manages common property.

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