What To Know Before Hiring A Strata Lawyer In Sydney

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Strata is a form of joint legal ownership over a building or structure with shared areas. It was first introduced in Australia in New South Wales in 1961 by the Conveyancing Strata Titles Act. It applies to residential buildings like duplexes, units, high-rises, villas and townhouses, or commercial ones including factories, offices, retail shops and warehouses. At some point in time, you will require the services of a strata lawyer Sydney for several reasons. There could be a dispute regarding a common area, or you might have to deal with defamation claims. You will also require their expertise to claim adequate compensation. 

What are the other ways your strata lawyer can help you, and what are some details related to it that you should know? Here are things to know about before hiring a strata lawyer in Sydney. 

What Does Living In A Strata Scheme Mean? 

In most cases, the apartments in Sydney are strata titled and are governed by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The difference between owning a house and property ownership is that you own the entire property in a home, including the internal and external areas. In a strata scheme, you share ownership and automatically become a part of the owners' corporation. Like other residents, you will have to contribute to the maintenance costs of the building by paying quarterly levies for several types of expenses. All strata schemes have their by-laws, which are essentially laws that all owners, tenants and even visitors should follow. They might cover issues such as accommodation of pets, smoking regulations, noise and pollution levels. The by-laws will differ from one scheme to the next. However, a strata title will not usually affect the value of a property. 

Common Disputes Related To Strata Ownership 

As mentioned earlier, at some point in time, you may find yourself in a dispute related to the usage of a common area of your property in Sydney. Some of the common issues that owners face are inter-floor water leakages, failure to perform duties under the by-laws, car parking problems, and prohibitions related to keeping a pet within the stated rules. Other disputes might be related to renovations that affect a common property, completion of overdue maintenance or repairs, or disagreements with a decision made by the owner's corporation. 

How Can A Lawyer Help You? 

You will require a lawyer's expertise to settle strata-related disputes, particularly when they reach the court. Your lawyer will attend the meetings and hearings on your behalf, arrange mediation and clarify obligations. They will ensure that your disputes are settled quickly with the best results. Your attorney will legally represent you at NCAT hearings, along with District Court and Supreme Court proceedings. You will also require the help of an attorney while making alterations to your apartment that requires permission from various parties. In strata properties, you won't be able to make changes to common areas since that affects their overall value. Before hiring a lawyer, it's advisable to first consult with them to know how much knowledge they possess. If they have a website, you could visit it and read about the strata services they offer, their insights on strata related matters, and how they can help you with a legal dispute. 

Leverage Strata Lawyers

You will need the help of a strata lawyer in Sydney for disputes if you live or decide to purchase a strata-titled property. An experienced strata attorney will offer you valuable legal advice, fight your case legally, help you understand your rights and obligations, and deal with defamation claims of offences.

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