March 18

Strata vs Subdivision

What is the difference between a strata vs subdivision? 

There are a few key differences when it comes to the differences between a strata vs subdivision.  A few of these have been discussed as well as the some advantages and disadvantages of both a strata title and subdivision.  This information has been created as a guide only and you should conduct your own investigations when considering a strata vs subdivision.  



Strata title allows individual ownership of part of a property (called a lot’ and generally an apartment or townhouse), combined with shared ownership in the remainder  (called ‘Common Property’ e.g. foyers, driveways, gardens) through a legal entity called the owners corporation — or body corporate.
(Strata Community Association 2018, accessed 1 May 2018
  1. A strata development is the proposal for an additional dwelling on the existing land title. Or in the case of a vacant block, one or more dwellings on the one land title. The planning submission would be for multiple residential dwellings and the application would include the strata proposal.
  2. Building  drawings, engineering, energy assessments and the like will need to be done to obtain building and plumbing approvals.
  3. Once the building is near completion the Registered Surveyor will lodge the  strata application with the Land Titles Office. The aim is for completion of the dwelling and the approvals for the strata title to be finalised at the same time.
  4. On completion of the strata, the lot can be transferred into the new owners name.



A plan of subdivision allows an applicant to divide land into two or more new parcels of land that can be disposed of separately.
(State Government of Victoria 2018, accessed 1 May 2018

  1. A subdivision is to divide one land title into separate land titles. Each new land title can be  sold  separately and owned/developed upon by the new land title owners.
  2. To create a subdivision you will need to apply for planning approval. For this you will need to meet the minimum requirements of the relevant local planning scheme.
  3. Once planning approval has been obtained the new lot/s will  require all new services including (but  not  limited  to) new  sewer/stormwater connections, water, power, NBN and phone infrastructure. A new crossover will also need to be applied for with Council.
  4. The above can take up to 6-12 months.
  5. Once final inspection of the works have been completed and titles have been issued a new building can be proposed.
  6. Proposed new buildings will need to apply for Planning Permits. Building Drawings Engineering, energy Assessments and the like will also be required for the proposed new building to obtain building and plumbing approval.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Strata Disadvantages 

  • A Body Corporate needs to be set up.
  • Lots cannot be sold off until after the completion of the build and strata application.
  • All fencing, landscaping and driveways “Common   Property’ is to be completed before completion certificates are given.
  • A strata cannot be completed before a building is built on site. The building works will be done on the current title, then changed with the strata at the completion of the building.

Subdivision Disadvantages

  • Time frames
  • New Tas Water sewer and water connections,  potential  further extensions of existing mains.
  • New Council stormwater connections, potential further   extensions of existing mains.
  • New phone and power lines/connections.
  • Cost (significantly more expensive).
  • More difficult to achieve planning approval.
  • Right  of  way  access  and  driveways  may cause further delays and issues in regards to surrounding land titles.

Strata Advantages

  •  The sewer and storm water connections may not need upgrading, depending upon the number of dwellings proposed.
  • Power and phone  supplies may not need upgrading
  • Buildings and strata can be staged
  • Generally faster than a subdivision

Further information
A strata development may also require an upgraded water   connection with a larger diameter pipe feed and a manifold for multiple water meters. This may need to be located on common property.

Subdivision Advantages

  • Lots and owners are clearly outlined with the lot boundaries.
  • No ‘Common Property’ or Body Corporate. issues can arise.
  • New lots can be sold as vacant land

Further information
A subdivision will require separate water meters and connections to each individual lot.


 This information is intended a guide only. Always seek site specific professional advice regarding strata vs subdivision options. Would you like a free printable copy of this article? Or if you require personal assistance with your build or renovation design and drafting contact us via the contact page.  


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