Consumer & Commercial > Your matter is about > Strata and community schemes

Strata and community schemes

Consumer and Commercial Division 

NCAT's Consumer and Commercial Division can hear and determine disputes about strata and community schemes under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 and Community Land Management Act 1989.

Strata schemes are buildings or a collection of buildings, such as apartments or townhouses, where individuals own a portion known as a ‘lot’.  Common property ownership is shared between lot owners, such as driveways, foyers and gardens. 

Community schemes are a system of property ownership of lots or units which are subdivided into strata schemes or other smaller community or neighbourhood schemes.  Community schemes allow for multiple dwellings on one piece of land such as rural subdivisions or gated communities.  The common property forms a separate lot with its own lot number.



Applications can be made by lot owners, owners corporations and occupiers concerning strata, community and neighbourhood scheme disputes.  Parties must generally attempt mediation before lodging an application.  Find out more about mediation.

Matters are either dealt with by an Adjudicator on the papers or by a Tribunal Member at a hearing depending on the dispute type.

Adjudicator orders

Most strata and community schemes disputes are determined by an Adjudicator on the papers without the need for a hearing.  Learn about the adjudication process.

After lodging your application you can expect the matter to be finalised within 3 months. 

Tribunal orders

Appeals against an Adjudicator's decision and other dispute types such as requests for penalty orders and unit entitlement are determined by the Tribunal at hearing.  Learn about the Tribunal hearing and appeals process for strata and community schemes matters.

After lodging your application you can expect a first hearing within 8 weeks. 


Common strata and community schemes disputes are:

  • Excessive noise
  • Exclusive use by-laws
  • Damage to common property
  • Appointment of a strata manager
  • Keeping pets
  • Meetings and resolutions.


Community Land Management Act 1989
Strata Schemes Management Act 1996

Quick links

Strata Schemes Management Act 1996            

Community Land Management Act 1989      

Fees and charges         

Strata and community schemes case studies            

How to resolve your matter        

Useful contacts

NSW Fair Trading   

LawAccess NSW            

Strata Community Australia

Owners Corporation Network

Property Owners Association of NSW

Real Estate Institute of NSW

Tenants Advisory Services