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ACT developers and community title

March 25, 2019

Community title is a form of land tenure in the Australian Capital Territory, which brings separate parcels of land together in a ‘community’ of land that have a shared interest or use in common land e.g. roads or amenities. All of the owners of community title lots will have the use and benefit of the common property in the registered community title scheme.

A units plan has units that share common property (such as access ways, stair wells or lifts). However, a community title scheme differs from a units plan in that it has lots which share community title common property, such as a parcel of land that has a shared facility or amenity located upon it. A units plan may only be registered over one block, but a community title scheme may be registered over several blocks. Interestingly, a community title scheme can contain one or more unit plans that are registered over separate blocks in the scheme.

One advantage of a community title scheme over a units plan is that the bylaws of the scheme can be uniquely tailored to the specific nature of the precinct. Unlike units plans which have default rules prescribed by legislation, the bylaws of a community title scheme can detail matters such as the use, operation and maintenance of the common property lot, and the way the lots will interact in respect to the shared common areas.

In order to register a community title developers are required to refer to the scheme outlined in the Community Title Act 2001 and the Community Title Regulation 2002. In order to register a community title scheme a developer must produce:

  1. A master plan for developing the land
  2. A management statement
  3. Body corporate documents
  4. Bylaws of the body corporate and
  5. For staged developments, details of the stages, and the sequence of those stages.

Developers should also have regard for the requirements of the Land Titles Act 1925, and if applicable, the Land Titles (Unit Titles) Act 1970 and the Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011. Currently the ACT Government is undertaking reform of the unit titles legislation, particularly in respect of mixed use precincts. HIA has been engaged to contribute to these reforms and we will continue to keep you updated.

If you have any questions we encourage you to contact your ACT Workplace Adviser, Phillipa Stewart on 02 6285 7302.