Is Strata Title Important For Property Owners?

Posted by Kris | Friday, September 14, 2012 | , | 9 comments »



Strata title is similar to land grants it basically gives you the right to occupy a piece of land or in your case stratified space...


Its important because once you have your title you have certain rights and privileges.


For example residents of flat, apartment, condominium and high rise buildings can form a Management Corporation (MC) to run the management and maintenance services of their property. If you don't have a strata title you cannot form and MC and you cannot vote.


Also should you decide to sell the property, the strata title enable the transfer of the property to the new owner.


Some developers refuse to apply for strata titles because they can make extra money after projects are completed by forming their own MC and collecting maintenance and other misc. fees from residents. Residents also cannot do much to oppose these developers because their rights are curtailed without strata titles. 


Importance of strata titles (source from National House Buyers Association (HBA))


According to statistics compiled by the House Buyers Association (HBA), problems with strata titles make up most of the complaints received from buyers. It is no secret that numerous strata title properties are still managed by the developer even though the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CF) were issued years ago.


The HBA's advice to house buyers is to "get, keep and preserve" the strata titles to their units for the following reasons:


As ultimate proof of ownership. 


As a dealing instrument for instances of charging to banks for loans. 


To facilitate disposal should they wish to sell so that they will not be imposed "consent fees" by the developer. 


To be able to initiate and get involved when the Management Corporation (MC) is formed by owners of the units in the subdivided building to maintain and manage the property. 


As final proof of the built-up area of the unit and ultimately, the apportionment of the share in the total aggregate units. 


As long as strata titles have not been transferred, the land the common property are still owned by the developer. 


Should a project be orphaned (as when the developer goes under liquidation or becomes insolvent) before strata titles have been obtained, the unit owners will have to go through a lot of trouble or might eventually have to pay for the application of the strata titles themselves. 


Kris : One of the most important point not mentioned are the following:


1. Some banks will reject loan application for apartments/condominium that don't have strata title issued such as 10++ years after obtaining OC (occupancy certificate). This will cause your property price to remain stagnant even though the market value in the same area has risen quite dramatically.

The reason of price stagnancy is simple, people cannot get loans even though they are very interested in your property. Unless, they can afford to pay cash, (hell nowadays people will leverage more by borrowing, not paying cold hard cash)


2. The land may be caveat-ed or encumbered by the developer. (example the developer mortgaging the entire condominium's land to the bank to improve their cash flow) Hence, they cannot give your strata title without removing the caveat aka paying up. So no strata title, means point (1) which is really a losing situation for property owners.



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9 comments

  1. LCF on Personal Finance // 11:39 PM  

    Hey Kris, this is an excellent information .thanks, just shared this.

  2. Kris // 4:55 AM  

    Thanks, LCF :)

  3. Anonymous // 8:58 AM  

    Hi Kris,
    What about the case when one of the unit buyers did some renovation which changed the original approved structure of the building? The Authorities have refused to approve the issuance of the strata title as the original approved structure of the condo has been changed. Now all the unit owners are affected due to this. Is there something that can be done to overcome this and get the strata title? Appreciate any feedback you can provide on this.

  4. Kris // 8:29 AM  

    @Anonymous,

    How did the authorities found out about that particular unit?? Massive structural change?

    What are the suggestions provided by the authorities?

  5. ChampDog // 6:01 PM  

    Interesting, shouldn't just affect only that particular unit?

  6. Jessie LSL // 9:47 PM  

    Hi,

    I wish to know is there anyway we can get a replacement Strata Title if it was lost in post?

    Is a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Strata Title sufficient to serve as proof of ownership and wihout needing to get the developer to consent to sell a house?

    Kindly share your experience.

    Many thanks.

  7. Kris // 11:39 AM  

    @JessieLSL,

    Try to remember which lawyer you use to get your strata title. Go and meet with them, they should be able to provide you one.

    Is a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Strata Title sufficient to serve as proof of ownership and wihout needing to get the developer to consent to sell a house? -> Why is that not so?

  8. Zhi Wen // 9:32 PM  

    Hi Kris,
    may I know how to explain how the strata title plays important role in new residence and commercial property development? Thankyou

  9. Kris // 10:33 PM  

    Zhi Wen,

    See my points in bold in the post.