how to calculate strata fees


Key takeaways

  • Strata housing is a type of ownership in which a larger property is divided into units or plots (e.g., condos, subdivisions).
  • Strata fees are expenses paid by owners that go to managing, maintaining, and operating the property.
  • Fees from a strata corporation will cover utilities, improvements to amenities, landscaping, and more.
  • To know how to calculate strata fees, you must first know your property’s budget and your unit entitlement.


The word “strata” is a term commonly used in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Canada to refer to divided ownership of property, such as condos and townhouses. Individual ownership requires a strata title, and with that comes strata fees—similar to condo and HOA fees.

But how do you calculate strata fees? Well, in this guide, we detail what strata fees and housing are. In addition, we teach you what strata fees cover, how to calculate them, and tips for paying them on time.

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What is strata housing?

Strata housing, also known as strata corporations, involves individual ownership of units or plots within a larger property and shared ownership of common areas and facilities.

For those in the United States, strata corporations seem like another name for condos or HOAs, but the term refers to other types of properties.

So strata corporations may include:

  • Duplexes
  • Townhouses
  • Single-family homes (“strata subdivisions”)
  • Restaurants
  • Parking lots
  • Office buildings
  • Marinas
  • Stables

Similar to HOAs and condos, strata housing will encompass their own councils, budgets, meetings, and bylaws. However, strata corporations can be divided into sections with their own rules and regulations.

For instance, one section may be comprised entirely of single-family homes while another has apartment-style condos and commercial property, such as a restaurant or office building.


What are strata fees?

Strata fees, also known as levies, are expenses owners pay to contribute financially to the strata corporation’s management, maintenance, and ongoing operation costs. Depending on where you’re located, strata fees may be paid monthly or quarterly.

The three major types of strata levies include:

  1. Administration. These cover daily operating tasks, such as insurance, utilities, maintenance, and landscaping.
  2. Reserve. The strata collects reserve levies to cover the costs of major projects that improve the property, such as replacing the roof or painting common areas.
  3. Special. Similar to HOA special assessments, special strata levies are collected when unexpected expenses occur, and the reserve fund is not sufficient.


What do strata fees cover?

As we touched on above, strata fees cover a wide range of expenses related to the corporation’s operating costs. In other words, they cover the costs of managing, operating, and maintaining the property.

More specifically, strata fees help cover the following expenses:

  • Utilities. Any utilities shared amongst the community, such as water, electricity, natural gas, etc., are included in strata fees.
  • Insurance. The building and common areas must be insured, so it’s up to residents to cover the costs. Not to mention, liability insurance is a must to protect against unexpected damage or repairs.
  • Amenities. Maintaining existing amenities and adding new ones are included in strata fees because they’re shared among all residents. The same goes for common areas as well, such as elevators, lobbies, and garages.
  • Groundskeeping. Your strata fees will help with the upkeep of the entire building’s gardens, lawns, and other outdoor amenities. For strata subdivisions, the work is usually limited to common spaces, while homeowners are responsible for their own plots’ landscaping.
  • Management fees. These include administrative costs—bookkeeping, legal fees, accounting—and fees paid to professional management companies overseeing the strata corporation’s day-to-day operations.
  • Reserve fund contributions: Finally, a portion of your strata fees will go into a reserve fund, which helps cover repairs and replacements for major maintenance projects.


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How to calculate strata fees?

The method by which your strata fees are calculated will depend on your property’s bylaws.

Strate fees may be calculated in two ways:


Based on unit entitlement

Typically, strata fees are calculated by determining the corporation’s total budget and dividing it by the unit entitlement.

A unit entitlement is a number assigned to an owner based on the size of their unit and the percentage of common property they own. For example, in an apartment-style condo, an owner of a three-bedroom unit will pay more in strata fees than the owner of a one-bedroom unit.

The strata fee formula you’d use for this method is as follows:

Your strata fee = Budget expenses x (Your unit entitlement ÷ Total unit entitlements)

Let’s say you have a strata corporation with a budget of $100,000. The total sum of unit entitlements is 1,000. If your unit has an entitlement of 60, the formula would look like the following.

Your strata fee = 100,000 x (60 ÷ 1000)

That means your total strata fees for the year are $6,000.


Equally divided

The other method of calculating strata fees is dividing them equally among owners. This method is usually only used with bare land strata corporations. In this situation, the council determines the yearly budget, which in turn decides the strata fees for owners.


Tips for paying strata fees

If you’re a strata title owner, you’ll want to stay on top of paying your strata fees to prevent any legal action or lofty fees. So, we’ve outlined some tips for paying your strata fees on time.

Pay your strata fees on time with these tips:

  • Budget accordingly. Incorporate strata fees into your monthly or quarterly budgeting. This way, you’ll be better prepared to pay them when the due date arrives.
  • Automate payments. Set up automatic payments to ensure your payments go through on time and you can avoid late fees. For the best experience, your strata corporation should use an online portal to collect payments.
  • Stay updated. Attend and participate in your strata council meetings. These meetings will bring up important information regarding fees, budgeting, and bylaws. By being there, you can give input that can improve the use of strata fees.
  • Communicate. Inform the council of potential financial problems you may be experiencing. Many councils are open to working with you when you’re unable to make payments on time. Consider asking them for a payment plan or mediation for your situation.
  • Dispute and appeal (if necessary). Familiarize yourself with your rights under that relevant strata legislation. Then, if you feel you’ve been wronged by strata fees or they were increased unreasonably, take legal action. You should also discuss these concerns with the council and other residents to guide your actions.


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Bryson Hile

I love learning about new technologies, especially within the real estate market. I currently reside in Fishers, Indiana.

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