Bond University becomes first Australian university to offer strata as a subject

Bugden Allen Lawyers partner, Gary Bugden, has accepted a professorial appointment at Bond University to deliver a new subject, “Strata and Community Titles.

The new subject is being offered as an undergraduate elective, as well as a post-graduate subject. Bond University is also making the subject available to existing legal practitioners as a ‘stand-alone’ subject. This enables practitioners to attend the University solely for the purpose of completing this subject.

The subject is presented over a full Semester. After examining the historical context of strata titles and the range of terminology involved, the subject progresses by following the “lifecycle” of a body corporate, starting with the site acquisition and transitioning through:

  • Government approvals, off-plan sales, building construction and plan registration (Development Phase)
  • Governance and management, division of powers and authorities, including meeting procedures, financial management, management rights, insurances and record keeping (Administrative Phase)
  • Community building, including an examination of essential requirements, constraints and strategic planning (Lifestyle Phase)
  • Preserving and enhancing asset value, including maintenance and refurbishment, NABERS, by-law enforcement and strategic planning (Asset Protection Phase)
  • Common disputes, various dispute jurisdictions, mediation, conciliation and adjudication, compulsory administration, termination of schemes (Conflict Phase).

Each phase of the subject concludes with comparisons between the Queensland system (on which the subject is based) and other major Australian jurisdictions. This ensures that the subject is of use to students irrespective of the jurisdiction in which they end up practicing. A key learning outcome from the subject is an understanding of the role the common law plays in the practical application of the statute law in this area.

Early indications are that the subject will be very popular among both undergraduate and post graduate students. The first offering this Semester even has an existing legal practitioner in the cohort. The subject puts Bond University in a unique position, because this subject is not currently offered by other Universities, yet it is of such fundamental relevance to the daily lives of such a huge proportion of Australia’s population.

July 2019.