Unit Title Property (Strata) and Neighbourhood Disputes

Contributed by Anahita Surya and current to March 2022

What is unit title?

Most flats, apartments, units or townhouses are held under unit title, or strata title as it is commonly known in other states. Unit title is a system of community living, wherein certain common areas such as driveways, foyers, gardens etc. are owned and maintained collectively by all occupiers. All owners of unit title property automatically become members of the owner’s corporation. The owners corporation is a legal entity that is responsible for maintenance and repair of common areas. The day to day business of most owners corporations is carried out the by owners corporations’ Executive Committee and Manager.

What are my rights and responsibilities as a unit titles property owner?

All owners corporations have rules that set out your obligations in relation to a range of issues, including noise, parking, repairs, maintenance etc. The rules apply to all occupiers within a unit titles plan, including tenants and owners. Ask your owners corporation manager for a copy of the rules if you do not already have one. In the absence of a rules document, default rules as contained in Schedule 1, Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011 apply.


Resolving the issue in a friendly manner is best for all parties involved. Contact your owners corporation as soon as a dispute arises. If you need mediation support, contact the ACT Conflict Resolution Service on 02 6162 4050 for confidential and affordable assistance. If unsuccessful, you may be able to make a complaint to your owners corporation for breach of owners corporation rules. Failing this, you can seek an order from the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT).

To talk to someone about your dispute, contact the Legal Aid ACT Helpline (8:30am to 7pm Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm on Friday) on 1300 654 314.

Breach of rules

If your neighbour is repeatedly breaching the rules of the owners corporation, you can ask the owners’ corporation to give your neighbour a rule infringement notice (s 109 Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011 (ACT)), requiring them to remedy the breach. Failing to comply with a rule infringement notice carries a maximum penalty of $800 for an individual and $4,050 for a corporation (s 110 Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011 (ACT)). The owners corporation can also apply to ACAT for an order in relation to the failure to comply with the notice.

Applying to ACAT

You may also be able to seek an order from ACAT. Disputes between the following parties can be referred to ACAT (Part 8, Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011 (ACT)):
  • Two or more owners/occupiers of units;
  • Owners Corporation and owner/occupier of a unit;
  • Owners Corporation and manager;
  • Owners Corporation and service contractor;
  • Owners Corporation and member/s of the Executive Committee;
  • Two or more members of the owners corporation.
To apply to ACAT, lodge the Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011 form. For more on the application process, visit the ACAT website. ACAT can make an order requiring or stopping the other party from doing something.

While a unit owner/occupier can apply to ACAT for most unit title neighbourhood disputes, there are some limitations. For example, only pet owners and owners corporations can apply to ACAT for an animal dispute. This is covered in more detail in Animal Nuisance.

Useful Resources

This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding AustLII Communities? Send feedback
This website is using cookies. More info. That's Fine