Survey-Strata title plans were introduced to the Strata Titles Act in 1997 and have added a welcomed option for Subdivision. The individual Survey-Strata lots are defined by distance and angle dimensions as provided by a Licensed Land Surveyor. In contrast to Built Strata title plans, the buildings do not form part of the boundary. Survey-Strata subdivisions are commonly used in commercial complexes and residential housing.
Like a Built Strata subdivision, Survey-Strata’s are also able to accommodate areas of common property, if desired. Common property is not issued a title and is typically owned by all of the Survey-Strata lot owners. A common property area is defined by dimensions and a lot number. A shared driveway or internal access ways are typical examples.
Staged land development, re-subdivision, easement creation and consolidation are typically all possible within Survey-Strata subdivisions. In May 2020 the option for Leasehold strata title was introduced to both Survey-Strata and Built Strata schemes. Leasehold titles have a fixed term between 20 and 99 years and are generally well suited to complexes where land is unable to be sold, e.g. university complexes or church sites.
- New titles can be achieved prior to or during new builds
- Buildings are not part of the boundaries
- Unit entitlement is based on the unimproved land value
- The WAPC Conditional Approval is tied to the land and can be utilised should the property be sold
- Lot servicing requirements can be preferential when compared to Green Title subdivision
- Additional statutory fees due to the application process
- Correct project planning and time frames need to be considered
- All subdivision conditions need to be satisfied
- Easements may be required
- Expiry dates need to be noted
As there are no buildings shown on a Survey-Strata title plan, the plan is much simpler to read when compared to a Built Strata title plan. Some key components of a Survey-Strata Title Plan include:
This section details the individual land parcels as defined by angles, distances and a calculated area. Traditionally, the lot numbers always start at 1, with any common property being allocated the highest number. The latest Strata Reform commencing 1st May 2020 has removed this requirement and now allows for lot numbering to start from any number.
Details of the newly placed boundary marks are also displayed. A typical boundary corner is identified on site with a wooden peg and the relevant lot number/s stamped on top of the peg.
The Unit Entitlement is determined by a Licensed Valuer and represents the individual lot owner’s share in the whole parcel. This value can be used to work out strata levies, voting rights and shares in any common property. Prior to the May 2020 Strata Reform the Unit Entitlement was completed on a Form 3.
For Survey-Strata plans the Unit Entitlement is based on the unimproved land value, i.e. buildings are excluded.
Typically, all Survey-Strata subdivisions follow a very similar approval process to Green Title subdivisions; whereby planning approval is completed with the Western Australian Planning Commission ( WAPC ). The approval process is commenced by lodging a Form 1A with WAPC and takes about 3 months to be issued. The process typically involves numerous Government agencies, namely; Water Corporation, Western Power and Local Government.
The majority of subdivisions completed through the WAPC are based on a “user pays system”, whereby the land developer pays to upgrade to existing infrastructure for the right to subdivide. These upgrades are defined as the “Conditions of Subdivision” and must all be completed to the satisfaction of the instructing agency before new land titles can be obtained.
Examples of subdivision conditions are:
Sewerage and water being available to all proposed lots.
Installation of underground power supply being available to all proposed lots.
All buildings being demolished and materials removed from the proposed new lots.
The majority of WAPC Conditional Subdivision Approvals are valid for 3 years. This gives the land developer up to 3 years to complete all the listed “Conditions of Subdivision”, including submitting the clearance approvals from each instructing agency to WAPC on a Form 1C.
Should this timeframe be exceeded a new application is required to be submitted to WAPC.
A typical small Survey-Strata subdivision can be completed within approx. 6-9 months.