Sat | Nov 16, 2019

A Matter of Land | Is it possible to reverse strata lots?

Published:Sunday | December 2, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis
A strata complex in St Andrew.
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Good day, readers. Thanks for your kind words in your emails and in person about the column. I am also humbled by the fact that some persons have expressed to me that they are now interested in land surveying as a profession now that they have been reading the columns.

This week, I will respond to another reader's question.

Mr Francis,

I saw your very excellent article on strata properties some Sundays ago, now I want to know if the strata designation can be removed from a property?

I ask this because my late father built a family home some 30 to 40 years ago. He received a separate title for each of the apartments as he figured it would make it easier for inheritance purposes.

Then The Strata Law came into effect. The strata has since given a letter waiving most of the fees and acknowledging that it is now looked at as a family home and not a commercial complex. Would this serve as a reason to ask for the strata to be removed? Also, how would I go about having this done?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

- P.A.L. (Mrs)

This situation is one that is not as easy as one would think, but removing the strata designation can be done.

After consulting with my attorney and a couple of colleagues, I have what I consider to be a reasonable suggestion for you.

First, I assumed that you want to have the entire building removed from being a strata, as opposed to a lot removed from the strata complex.

 

EVERYONE HAS TO BE IN AGREEMENT

 

The first thing that would have to be done is that your strata corporation would have to move a resolution to have this done. This means that every person who is a part of the strata complex has to agree with this course of action. Everyone has their own title and has an undivided share in the common areas, so everyone will be affected by the action, so everyone has to be in agreement.

With this resolution passed, the next step would be to have all the individual titles for each strata lot cancelled and then transferred to one title.

The strata complex has a plan showing the lay of the complex, the layout of the buildings and the separate lots and floor areas. This, too, would have to be cancelled as it would no longer be an accurate description of the property.

When all the individual strata titles are cancelled, then you can transfer all of them to one owner or a group of owners per the Registration of Titles Act and not under the Strata Titles Act.

There may be the need for a new survey diagram as well, depending on what the Registrar of Titles determine.

I must inform you that you WILL require the services of an attorney to have all that I have stated above done. Also, the transfer costs may be very high so you will need to take this into consideration.

You will also need the approval of the Registrar of Titles and the municipal council for your parish.

I suggest that you contact a lawyer who can give you some more information and an idea as to costs.

Keep sending your questions and comments and let's continue to explore A Matter of Land. Until next time, traverse well.

Please note that we are still conducting the A Matter of Land presentations for groups which wish us to come in and do so. Please contact us if you are so interested.

- Craig Francis is a commissioned land surveyor and managing director of Precision Surveying Services Ltd. He can be contacted for questions or queries at craig_r_francis@yahoo.com or Precision Surveying Services.