Forum: Are two-lot strata schemes too much hassle?


We tend not to hear too much about the mysteries two-lot strata schemes like  duplexes and villas.

Is “mysteries” over-stating it?  For a long time Randwick Council in Sydney’s East wouldn’t approve two-lot strata schemes’ development applications. Instead they told the developers to set them up as Company Title.

And some strata managers wouldn’t touch two-lot schemes with a cattle prod. Why? Because on the hassle versus income scale, two-lot schemes can be up there with Airbnb “hotels” and crack dens.

A two lot scheme can be a great way to have a reasonable amount of privacy and self reliance, but sharing the costs of the land and services.

However, they can also be a cauldrons of discontent and disappointment. Either you have a 50-50 split on unit entitlements – Ms Irresistible Force meet Mr Immovable Object – or you have an uneven share of votes which also translates into a skewed responsibility for costs.

Guess what happens when the person who pays a smaller share of the bills wants their neighbour to pay a bigger share of expensive improvements or even repairs … but they also have more votes.  

Just think, you are on the top floor and the roof is leaking but Mr 70 per cent downstairs says “it doesn’t bother me.”

To make matters worse, when you fall out with your neighbour you can hardly avoid them if they live next door or upstairs.

Trawling through the previous posts on two-lot strata, you can see a pattern of neighbours getting along fine until one property changes hands and the new people come in expecting everything to be done by the book, rather than the nods and winks that were previously adequate.

This week a reader has asked about by-laws – there are only two in the scheme he’s looking at –  and why there’s no owners corporation (there must be, they probably just don’t meet).

Then there’s how voting and costs are shared and what the obligations and responsibilities of a two-lot scheme are.

We’re thinking, if the prospective owner is stirring things up with legitimate questions before they’ve even bought, this isn’t going to end well. You’ll find the answers HERE.

Elsewhere in the Forum

  • Do meters that measure the flow of water into individual apartments from a single source actually work? That’s HERE.
  • Can someone who wasn’t at a meeting then vote to approve its minutes?  That’s HERE.
  • Is it possible to get your strata insurance spread across the year to reflect quarterly income from levies? That’s HERE.
  • Who’s responsible for a blocked bathroom drain that’s flooding the flat below in a 1930s unit block?  What about when the problem may be 90 years of hair?  Eughhh! That’s HERE.
  • What percentage of owners’ votes are required to sell of a bit of unused common property. That’s HERE.

Don’t forget there are a lot of ongoing discussions that may have been updated since you last logged in, like the barking dog and the backsliding committee, and trying to take a chairperson to task over dubious decisions.

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