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Strata Titles Act 2000

Assent: 12 September 2000
Commencement: 5 February 2001

REPUBLIC OF VANUATU


STRATA TITLES ACT

NO. 29 of 2000


Arrangement of Sections

PART 1 - PRELIMINARY
1. Interpretation
PART 2 - SUBDIVISION UNDER THE ACT
2. Rights to subdivide under this Act
3. Approval by Consent Authority
PART 3 - STRATA PLAN REQUIREMENTS, EASEMENTS AND RESTRICTIVE AGREEMENTS
4. Strata plan - requirements
5. Schedule of unit entitlement
6. Easements for Support
7. Rights to Shelter
8. Implied Easements
9. Ancillary rights and obligations
PART 4 - COMMON PROPERTY
10. Common Property
11. Dealing with common property
12. Destruction of the building
13. Interests affecting common property
PART 5 - BY-LAWS
14. By laws
PART 6 - BODY CORPORATE
15. Formation and nature of body corporate
16. Duties of body corporate
17. Payments by Body Corporate
PART 7 - INSURANCE
18. Proprietor May Insure
19. Building deemed destroyed
PART 8 - VALUATION AND TAXES
20. Valuation - Rates and Taxes
PART 9 - VOTING
21. Proprietor - Voting rights
22. Mortgagee - voting rights
PART 10 - GENERAL
23. Rights to enter the parcel
24. Appointment of receiver
25. Postal delivery service
26. Offences
27. Regulations
28. Commencement
SCHEDULE 1 - BY-LAWS
SCHEDULE 2 - BY-LAWS

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REPUBLIC OF VANUATU


STRATA TITLES ACT

NO. 29 of 2000

An Act relating to the establishment of strata titles


BE IT ENACTED by the President and the Parliament as follows:

PART 1 - PRELIMINARY

1. Interpretation


In this Act unless the contrary intention appears:

approved lease means a lease registered or capable of registration in the Land Leases Register for a term which, or which together with any option to extend the term exercisable by either the lessor or the lessee, has an unexpired period of at least 75 years at the date the strata plan is to be registered over the land subject to that lease.


body corporate means a body corporate incorporated by section 15.


building means the building or buildings shown in a strata plan.


common property means so much of the land for the time being comprised in a strata plan as is not comprised in any lot shown in such plan.


consent authority means in relation to a parcel the relevant municipal council or local government council.


council means council of a body corporate constituted under Schedule 1.


Director means the Director of Land Records.


land means land registered under the Land Leases Act [CAP 163] which is subject to an approved lease and included within a Physical Planning Area under the Physical Planning Act [CAP. 193].


Land Leases Register has the same meaning as in the Land Leases Act [CAP 163].


lot means a lot shown as such in a strata plan.


Minister means the Minister for lands.


mortgage includes a charge for securing money or money's worth.


municipal council means a council established under the Municipal Councils Act [CAP 126].


parcel means the land comprised in a strata plan.


proprietor means the proprietor for the time being of a lot.


rating authority means a municipal council, a local government council or other body authorised by or under an Act to levy rates or taxes on land.


regulations means regulations made under this Act.


restrictive agreement includes an instrument containing an agreement referred to in subsection 68(1) of the Land Leases Act [CAP 163].


strata plan means a plan which:


(a) is described in its title or heading as a strata plan; and


(b) shows the whole or any part of the land comprised in it as being divided into 2 or more strata, whether or not any such stratum is divided into 2 or more lots; and


(c) complies with the requirements of section 4;


and includes a plan of re-subdivision of any lots in a strata plan registered under this Act and any amendment of the strata plan or plan of re-subdivision registered under this Act;


the Court means the Supreme Court of Vanuatu


unanimous resolution means a resolution unanimously passed at a duly convened meeting of the body corporate at which all persons entitled to exercise the powers of voting conferred by or under this Act are present personally or by proxy at the time of the motion.


unit entitlement in respect of a lot means the unit entitlement of that lot, specified or apportioned in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5(c).


valuing authority means the Department of Lands or any other body authorised by or under an Act to carry out valuations of land.


PART 2 - SUBDIVISION UNDER THE ACT

2. Rights to subdivide under this Act.


(1) Land including the whole or a part of a building may be subdivided into lots by registering a strata plan in the manner provided by or under this Act.


(2) When a plan has been so registered:


(a) the lots comprised therein, or any one or more thereof, may devolve or be transferred, leased, mortgaged or otherwise dealt with in the same manner and form as any land registered under the provisions of the Land Leases Act [CAP 163]; and


(b) the Director must issue a separate certificate of title for each lot and for the common property in accordance with the regulations.


(3) Subject to the provisions of this section, any transfer, lease, mortgage or other dealing affecting a lot has the same effect as a similar dealing affecting land under the Land Leases Act [CAP 163].


(4) A strata plan is for the purposes of the Land Leases Act [CAP 163] taken upon registration to be embodied in the Land Leases Register.


(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Land Leases Act [CAP 163], a proprietor holds his or her lot and his or her share in the common property, subject to any interests affecting the same for the time being notified on the registered strata plan and subject to any amendments to lots or common property shown on that plan.


(6) Easements or restrictive agreements implied or created by this Act take effect and are enforceable without any memorial or notification in the Land Leases Register and without any express indication of the dominant or servient tenements.


3. Approval by Consent Authority


(1) The provisions relating to subdivision of land contained in any other Act do not apply to any subdivision effected pursuant to subsection 2(1).

(2) The lessee under an approved lease may apply for a certificate referred to in paragraph 4(3)(b).
(3) In respect of any application for a certificate under paragraph 4(3)(b), the consent authority must direct the issue of such certificate if it is satisfied that:


(a) separate occupation of the proposed lots will not contravene the provisions of the Physical Planning Act [CAP 193] or any other prescribed Act; and


(b) any consent or approval required under the Physical Planning Act [CAP 193] or any other prescribed Act has been given in relation to the separate occupation of the proposed lots; and


(c) the building and the proposed subdivision of the parcel into lots for separate occupation will not interfere with the existing or likely future amenity of the neighbourhood, having regard to the circumstances of the proposal, or with the public interest.


(4) Upon any refusal by the consent authority to direct the issue of the certificate referred to in subsection (3), or upon failure by the consent authority to do so within 30 days after the receipt of the application for such certificate, the applicant may appeal to the Court.
 
(5) Any proprietor or proprietors may with the approval of the consent authority subdivide his or her or their lots by registering a plan relating to the lot or lots so resubdivided in the manner provided by this Act for the registration of strata plans.
 
(6) Subject to subsections (7) to (11), the provisions of this section relating to strata plans and to appeals from any decision of the consent authority or failure by the consent authority to make a decision apply mutatis mutandis to such resubdivision.
 
(7) Notwithstanding section 15, the proprietors of lots in a strata plan of resubdivision established pursuant to the regulations do not become a body corporate, but upon the date of registration of such plan of resubdivision become members of the body corporate formed on registration of the original strata plan.
 
(8) On registration of a strata plan of resubdivision, lots comprised in it are subject to the burden and have the benefit of any easements affecting such lots in the original strata plan as are included in the plan of resubdivision.
 
(9) The schedule endorsed on a strata plan of resubdivision, as required by section 5, must apportion among the lots the unit entitlement of such lot or lots in the original strata plan as are included in the resubdivision.
 
(10) Before registering a strata plan of resubdivision, the Director must amend the original registered strata plan in the manner prescribed by regulations.
 
(11) Upon registration of any strata plan of resubdivision, land in that plan is not to be dealt with by reference to lots in the original strata plan.
 
(12) The decision of the Court upon any appeal under this section is final and binding on the consent authority and the appellant, and for the purposes of this Act is taken to be the final decision of the consent authority.
 

PART 3 - STRATA PLAN REQUIREMENTS, EASEMENTS AND RESTRICTIVE AGREEMENTS

4. Strata plan - requirements

 

(1) A strata plan must:

(a) delineate the external surface boundaries of the parcel and the location of the building in relation to it; and
 

(b) include a statement containing such particulars as may be necessary to identify the title to that parcel; and
 

(c) include a drawing illustrating the lots and distinguishing those lots by number or other symbols; and

 

(d) define the boundaries of each lot in the building by reference to floors, walls and ceilings, provided that it is not necessary to show any bearing or dimensions of a lot; and

 

(e) show the approximate floor area of each lot; and

 

(f) have endorsed upon it a schedule complying with the provisions of section 5; and

 

(g) have endorsed upon it the address at which documents may be served on the body corporate; and

 

(h) contain such other features as may be prescribed by the regulations.
 
(2) Unless otherwise stipulated in the strata plan, the common boundary of any lot with another lot or with common property is the middle line of the floor, ceiling or adjoining wall, as the case may be.
 
(3) Every strata plan lodged for registration must be endorsed with or accompanied by a certificate:
 

(a) of a surveyor that the building shown on the strata plan is within the external surface boundaries of the parcel and where eaves or guttering project beyond such external boundaries, that an appropriate easement has been granted as an appurtenance of the parcel; and
 

(b) of the consent authority that the proposed subdivision of the parcel as illustrated in the strata plan, has been approved by the consent authority.

 

5. Schedule of unit entitlement

 

Every plan lodged for registration as a strata plan or strata plan of resubdivision must have endorsed upon it a schedule specifying in whole numbers the unit entitlement of each lot and a number equal to the aggregate unit entitlement of all lots, and such unit entitlement determines:

(a) the voting rights of proprietors; and

 

(b) the quantum of the undivided share of each proprietor in the common property; and

(c) the proportion payable by each proprietor of contributions levied pursuant to subsection 16(2).

 

6. Easements for support

 

In respect of each lot there is implied:

(a) in favour of the proprietor of such lot and as appurtenant thereto, an easement of the subjacent and lateral support thereof by the common property and by every other lot capable of affording support; and
 

(b) as against the proprietor of such lot and to which the same shall be subject an easement for the subjacent and lateral support of the common property and of every other lot capable of enjoying support.
 

7. Rights to shelter

 
(1) A proprietor is entitled to have his or her lot sheltered by all such parts of the building as are capable of affording shelter ("the sheltered parts").
 
(2) The right created by this section is an easement to which the sheltered parts are subject.
 
(3) The easement for shelter created by this section entitles the proprietor of the dominant tenement to enter on the servient tenement to replace, renew or restore any shelter.
 

8. Implied Easements

 
In respect of each lot there is implied:
 

(a) in favour of the proprietor of such lot, and as appurtenant thereto, easements for the passage or provision of water, sewerage, drainage, gas, electricity, garbage, artificially heated or cooled air and other services (including telephone, radio and television services) through or by means of any pipes, wires, cables or ducts for the time being existing in the parcel to the extent to which those pipes, wires, cables or ducts are capable of being used in connection with the enjoyment of such lot; and

 

(b) as against the proprietor of such lot, and to which the same shall be subject, easements for the passage or provision of water, sewerage, drainage, gas, electricity, garbage, artificially heated or cooled air and other services (including telephone, radio and television services) through or by means of any pipes, wires, cables or ducts for the time being existing within such lot, as appurtenant to the common property and also to every other lot capable of enjoying such easements.

 

9. Ancillary rights and obligations

 

All ancillary rights and obligations reasonably necessary to make easements effective apply in respect to easements implied or created by this Act.

PART 4 - COMMON PROPERTY

10. Common Property

 
(1) The common property is to be held by the proprietors as tenants in common in shares proportional to the unit entitlement of their respective lots.
 
(2) The Director in issuing a certificate of title for a lot must certify therein the proprietor's share in the common property.
 
(3) Except as provided for by section 11, no share in the common property is to be disposed of except as appurtenant to the lot of the proprietor and any assurance of a lot is to operate to assure the share of the disposing party in the common property, without express reference to it.
 

11. Dealing with common property

 

(1) The proprietors by unanimous resolution may direct the body corporate to transfer, lease or otherwise dispose of common property, or any part of it.

(2) The body corporate must execute the appropriate instrument or lease if it is satisfied that:

(a) the resolution was duly passed; and

 

(b) all persons having registered interests in the parcel and all other persons having interests (other than statutory interests) which have been notified to the body corporate have consented in writing to the release of those interests in respect of the land comprised in the proposed disposal or, in the case of a lease, have approved in writing of the execution of the proposed lease.
 
(3) The instrument or lease is valid and effective without execution by any person having any interest in the common property.
 
(4) The receipt of the body corporate for the purchase money, rent, premiums, or other moneys payable to the body corporate under the terms of the instrument or lease is a sufficient discharge, and exonerates the persons taking under the instrument or the lease, as the case may be, from any responsibility for the application of the moneys expressed to have been so received.
 
(5) Every such instrument or lease lodged for registration is to be endorsed with or accompanied by a certificate under the seal of the body corporate that the resolution was duly passed, that the instrument or lease conforms with the terms of the resolution and that all necessary consents were given.
 
(6) For the purposes of the purchaser or other person taking an interest in the common property and the Director, the certificate is conclusive evidence of the facts stated in it.
 

(7) The Director must register:

(a) the instrument in the manner prescribed by the regulations; and

 

(b) the lease by noting it in the manner prescribed by regulations.
(8) Upon lodgment for registration of an instrument or lease disposing of common property, the Director must amend the registered strata plan by deleting from it the common property comprised in the instrument or lease in the manner prescribed in the regulations.
 

12. Destruction of the building

 

(1) Upon destruction of the building, the body corporate must immediately lodge with the Director a notification of such destruction in the form prescribed by the regulations.

(2) Upon receipt of the notification, the Director must make an entry of it on the relevant registered strata plan in the manner prescribed by the regulations.

(3) Upon such entry, the proprietors of lots in such strata plan are entitled to the parcel as tenants in common in shares proportional to the unit entitlement of their respective lots.

(4) The proprietors of all lots by unanimous resolution may direct the body corporate to dispose of the parcel or any part or parts of it.

(5) The body corporate must execute the appropriate instrument if it is satisfied that:

(a) the resolution was duly passed; and

 

(b) all persons having registered interests in the parcel and all other persons having interests (other than statutory interests) which have been notified to the body corporate have consented in writing to the release of those interests in respect of the land comprised in the proposed disposition.

 
(6) The instrument is valid and effective without execution by any person having an interest in the parcel.
 
(7) The receipt of the body corporate is a sufficient discharge and exonerates the persons taking under the instrument from any responsibility for the application of the moneys expressed to have been so received.
 
(8) Every such instrument lodged for registration is to be endorsed with or accompanied by a certificate under the seal of the body corporate that the resolution was duly passed and that all necessary consents were given.
 
(9) The certificate is conclusive evidence in favour of purchasers of the parcel and in favour of the Director of the facts stated in it.
 
(10) Upon lodgement for registration by the body corporate of an instrument dealing with a parcel pursuant to this section, the Director must make the entry prescribed by subsection (2) in accordance with the regulations.
 
(11) If land is transferred by the body corporate pursuant to this section:
 

(a) the proprietors must surrender to the Director their duplicate certificates of title for cancellation; and

 

(b) the Director, after cancelling the folia of the Land Leases Register constituted by the certificates of title relating to the lots, must register any instrument in favour of the transferee for the land transferred.
 

13. Interests affecting common property

 

(1) The proprietors of all lots by unanimous resolution at a meeting convened by the body corporate may direct the body corporate:

(a) to execute on their behalf a grant of easement or create a restrictive agreement burdening the parcel; or

 

(b) to accept on their behalf a grant of easement or a restrictive agreement benefiting the parcel.
 
(2) The body corporate must execute the appropriate easement or restrictive agreement if is satisfied that:
 

(a) the resolution was duly passed; and

 

(b) all persons having registered interests in the parcel and all other persons having interests (other than statutory interests) which have been notified to the body corporate have consented in writing to the release of those interests in respect of the land comprised in the proposed disposition.
 
(3) The easement or restrictive agreement is valid and effective without execution by any person having an interest in the parcel.
 
(4) The receipt of the body corporate is a sufficient discharge and exonerates all persons taking under the easement or restrictive agreement from any responsibility for the application of the moneys expressed to have been so received.
 
(5) Every such easement or restrictive agreement lodged for registration is to be endorsed with or accompanied by a certificate under the seal of the body corporate that the resolution was duly passed and that all necessary consents were given.
 
(6) For the purposes of dealing with the body corporate pursuant to this section and the Director, the certificate is conclusive evidence of the facts stated in it.
 
(7) The Director must register such easement or restrictive agreement by noting it on the registered strata plan in the manner provided by the regulations.
 

PART 5 - BY-LAWS

14. By laws

 

(1) The building is to be regulated by by-laws.

(2) The by-laws are to provide for the control, management, administration, use and enjoyment of the lots and the common property and must include:

(a) the by-laws set out in Schedule 1 which are not to be added to, amended or repealed except by unanimous resolution; and

 

(b) the by-laws set out in Schedule 2 which may be added to, amended, or repealed by ordinary resolution.

 
(3) The by-laws set out in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 are taken, on and after the registration of a strata plan, to be in force for all purposes in relation to the parcel, the lots and common property until they are added to, amended and repealed in accordance with subsection (2).
 
(4) No by-law or addition to or amendment or repeal of any by-law is capable of operating to prohibit or restrict the devolution of lots or any instrument, lease, mortgage, or other dealing with the lots or to destroy or modify any easement or restrictive agreement implied or created by this Act.
 
(5) No addition to or amendment or repeal of any by-law pursuant to subsection (2) has effect until the body corporate has lodged a notification of it in the form prescribed by the regulations with the Director and until the Director has made reference to it on the registered strata plan.
 
(6) The body corporate must, on the application of a proprietor or any person the proprietor has authorised in writing, make available for inspection the by-laws for the time being in force.
 
(7) The by-laws for the time being in force bind the body corporate and the proprietors to the same extent as if those by-laws had respectively been signed and sealed by the body corporate and each proprietor, and contained covenants on the part of the body corporate with each proprietor and on the part of each proprietor with every other proprietor and with the body corporate to observe and perform all the provisions of the by-laws.
 

PART 6 - BODY CORPORATE

15. Formation and nature of body corporate

 

(1) The proprietor or proprietors become by virtue of this Act, upon registration of the strata plan a body corporate under the name "The Proprietors - Strata Plan No." (the number to be specified is the number of the relevant registered strata plan). 

(2) The provisions of the Companies Act [CAP 191] do not apply to the body corporate.
(3) Subject to this Act, the body corporate is responsible for enforcement of the by-laws and the control, management, and administration of the common property.
 
(4) The body corporate has perpetual succession and must have a common seal and be capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name and is to be regulated in accordance with the by-laws for the time being in force.
 

(5) The body corporate may:

(a) sue and be sued on any contract made by it; and

(b) sue for and in respect of any damage or injury to the common property caused by any person, whether a proprietor or not; and

 

(c) be sued in respect of any matter connected with the parcel for which the proprietors are jointly liable.
 
(6) In this section "proprietors" includes the persons entitled to the parcel pursuant to paragraph 13(2)(b).
 

16. Duties of body corporate

 

(1) The duties of the body corporate include the following:

(a) to insure and keep insured the building to its replacement value against fire and such other risks as may be prescribed by the regulations, unless the proprietors by unanimous resolution otherwise resolve; and

(b) to effect such insurance as it is required by law to effect; and

(c) to insure against such other risks as the proprietors may from time to time determine by special resolution as defined in clause 35 of Schedule 1; and

 

(d) subject to section 19, forthwith to apply insurance moneys received by it in respect of the damage to the building in rebuilding and reinstating the building so far as the same may lawfully be effected; and

 

(e) to pay premiums on any policies of insurance effected by it; and

 

(f) to keep in a state of good and serviceable repair and properly maintain the common property; and

 

(g) to comply with notices or orders by a municipal council, a local government council or any public authority requiring repairs to, or work to be done in respect of, the parcel or the building; and

 

(h) to comply with any reasonable request for the names and addresses of the persons who are members of the council of the body corporate.
 
The body corporate for the purpose of effecting any insurance under paragraph (a) is deemed to have an insurable interest to the replacement value of the building and for the purpose of effecting any other insurance under this subsection is deemed to have an insurable interest in the subject matter of such insurance.
 
(2) The powers of the body corporate include the following:
 

(a) to establish a fund for administrative expenses sufficient in the opinion of the body corporate for the control, management and administration of the common property, for the payment of any premiums of insurance and the discharge of any other obligation of the body corporate; and

 

(b) to determine from time to time the amounts to be raised for the purposes referred to in paragraph (a); and

 

(c) to raise amounts so determined by levying contributions on the proprietors in proportion to the unit entitlement of their respective lots; and

 

(d) to recover from any proprietor by an action for debt in any court of competent jurisdiction any sum of money expended by the body corporate for repairs to or work done by it or at its direction in complying with any notice or order by a municipal council, a local government council or a public authority in respect of that portion of the building comprising the lot of that proprietor.

 

(3) Subject to subsection (4), any contribution levied:

(a) is due and payable on the passing of a resolution to that effect and in accordance with the terms of such resolution; and

 

(b) may be recovered as a debt by the body corporate in an action in any court of competent jurisdiction from the proprietor entitled at the time when such resolution was passed and from the proprietor entitled at the time when such action was instituted both jointly and severally.
 
(4) The body corporate must on the application of a proprietor or any person authorised in writing by the proprietor certify:

(a) the amount of any contribution determined as the contribution of the proprietor; and

 

(b) the manner in which such contribution is payable; and

 

(c) the extent to which such contribution has been paid by the proprietor; and

 

(d) the amount of any rate paid by the body corporate pursuant to section 17 and not recovered by it;
and in favour of any person dealing with that proprietor, such certificate is conclusive evidence of the matters certified in it.
 
(5) The policy of insurance authorised by this section and taken out by the body corporate in respect of the building cannot be brought into contribution with any other policy of insurance other than another policy authorised by this section in respect of the same building.
 

17. Payments by Body Corporate

 

(1) Where any rate levied in respect of a lot by any municipal council, local government council or other public authority is due and payable and the proprietor has made default in payment of it, then that council or the authority may serve upon the body corporate a copy of the notice of assessment of that rate together with a notice requiring the body corporate to pay it within 30 days from the date of such service.

(2) If the body corporate fails to pay that rate within the 30 day period the council or authority, without prejudice to its rights against any proprietor, may sue the body corporate for that rate as a debt in any court of competent jurisdiction and may exercise any other remedy available to the council or authority under any Act, regulation or by-laws as if the body corporate were the sole proprietor of the parcel and the rate levied was the rate applicable to the parcel.

(3) If the body corporate pays any such rate it may recover the amount so paid in an action for debt in any court of competent jurisdiction from the person who is the proprietor of the lot in respect of which the rate was levied at the time when such action is instituted.

PART 7 - INSURANCE

18. Proprietor may insure

 
(1) If a building is insured to its replacement value, a proprietor may effect a policy of insurance in respect of any damage to his or her lot in a sum equal to the amount secured, at the date of any loss referred to in such policy, by mortgages charged upon the lot.
 

(2) If any such policy of insurance is in force:

(a) payment is to made by the insurer under such policy to the mortgagees whose interests are noted thereon in order of their respective priorities, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy; and

(b) subject to the terms and conditions of such policy, the insurer is liable to pay:

(i) the value stated in such policy; or

 

(ii) the amount of the loss; or

 

(iii) the amount sufficient, at the date of the loss, to discharge mortgages charged upon the lot;

 

whichever is the least amount.
(3) If the amount so paid by the insurer equals the amount necessary to discharge a mortgage charged upon the lot, the insurer is entitled to an assignment of that mortgage.
 
(4) If the amount so paid by the insurer is less than the amount necessary to discharge a mortgage charged upon the lot, the insurer is entitled to a sub-mortgage of such mortgage to secure the amount so paid on terms and conditions agreed upon as provided in subsection (7), or failing agreement on the same terms and conditions as those contained in the mortgage.
 
(5) If a building is uninsured, or has been insured to less than its replacement value, a proprietor may:
 

(a) effect a policy of insurance in respect of any damage to his or her lot in a sum equal to the replacement value of the lot less a sum representing the amount for which the lot is insured under any policy of insurance effected on the building; and

 

(b) notwithstanding any existing policies, effect a policy of insurance in respect of damage to the lot in a sum equal to the amount secured, at the date of any loss referred to in such last mentioned policy, by mortgages charged upon the lot, and the provisions of subsections (2), (3), and (4) apply in respect of any payment pursuant to such last mentioned policy.
 
(6) For the purposes of subsection (5), the amount for which a lot is insured under a policy of insurance effected in respect of the building is to determined by multiplying the value stated in such policy by the unit entitlement of the lot and dividing the product so obtained by the sum of the unit entitlements of all lots.
 
(7) For the purposes of subsection (4) and paragraph (5)(b), any insurer and mortgagee may at any time, whether before or after a policy of insurance has been effected by a proprietor, agree upon the terms and conditions of the sub-mortgage.
 
(8) Nothing in this section limits the right of a proprietor to insure against risks other than damage to the proprietor's lot.
 
(9) The policy of insurance authorised by this section and taken out by a proprietor in respect of damage to the proprietor's lot cannot be brought into contribution with any other policy of insurance, other than another policy authorised by this section and taken out in respect of damage to the same lot.
 
(10) This section applies notwithstanding the provisions of the Insurance Act [CAP. 82].
 

19. Building deemed destroyed

(1) For the purposes of this Act, the building is taken to be destroyed on the happening of the following events:

(a) when the proprietors by unanimous resolution so resolve; or

 

(b) when the Court upon application under this section is satisfied that having regard to the rights and interests of the proprietors as a whole it is just and equitable that the building is deemed to have been destroyed and makes a declaration to that effect.
 
(2) In any case where a declaration has been made pursuant to paragraph (1)(b) the Court may by order impose such conditions and give such directions (including directions for the payment of money) as it thinks fit for the purpose of adjusting as between the body corporate and the proprietors and as amongst the proprietors themselves the effect of the declaration.
 
(3) If the building is damaged but is not destroyed the Court may by order settle a scheme, including provisions:

(a) for the reinstatement in whole or in part of the building; and

(b) for transfer or conveyance of the interests of proprietors of lots which have been wholly or partially destroyed to the other proprietors in proportion to their unit entitlement.
 
(4) In the exercise of its powers under subsection (3), the Court may make such orders as it deems necessary or expedient for giving effect to the scheme, including orders:

(a) directing the application of insurance moneys received by the body corporate in respect of damage to the building; and

 

(b) directing payment of money by the body corporate or by proprietors or by any one or more of them; and

 

(c) directing such amendment of the strata plan as the Court thinks fit, so as to include in the common property any addition thereto; and

 

(d) imposing such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.
 
(5) For the purposes of this section, an application for an order to have the building declared destroyed may be made to the Court by the body corporate or by a proprietor or by a registered mortgagee of a lot.
 
(6) On any application to the Court any insurer who has effected insurance on the building or any part thereof (being insurance against destruction of lots or damage to the building) has the right to appear in person or by agent or counsel.
 
(7) The Court may from time to time vary any order made by it under this section.
 
(8) The Court on the application of the body corporate or any proprietor may by order make provision for the winding up of the affairs of the body corporate.
 
(9) By the same or subsequent order the Court may declare the body corporate dissolved as on and from a date specified in the Order.
 
(10) On any application under this section the Court may make such order for the payment of costs as it thinks fit.
 

PART 8 - VALUATION AND TAXES

20. Valuation - Rates and Taxes

 
(1) If a valuing authority causes a parcel to be valued, the parcel must, notwithstanding the provisions of any Act or law be valued as a single parcel of land and as if it were owned by a single owner and for the purposes of any such valuation and all purposes incidental thereto (including objection to a valuation) but not otherwise, the parcel and all improvements on it are taken to be owned by the body corporate and by no other person.
 
(2) During the period from the registration of the strata plan and until a valuation of the parcel showing the body corporate as owner becomes effective for rating or taxing purposes, the valuation then in force is, for the purposes of subsection (6), taken to be a valuation of the parcel made by the valuing authority showing the body corporate as owner.
 
(3) The valuing authority is not required to make separate valuations of any part of a parcel unless prescribed by the regulations.
 
(4) The body corporate must within 28 days after the registration of a strata plan or any amendment of it, furnish to the valuing authority and to any rating authority authorised to levy rates or taxes in relation to the parcel or any part of it, two copies of the registered strata plan or any amendment (including all endorsements) certified as prescribed by the regulations.
 
(5) For all purposes in relation to the making, levying, imposition, assessment or recovery of rates, charges or taxes in relation to the parcel or any part of it:
 

(a) the particulars shown on the certified copy of the strata plan or any amendment so furnished are conclusive evidence of those particulars; and

 

(b) the production by an authority authorised to levy rates and taxes in relation to the parcel or any part of it of what purports to be the certified copy of the strata plan or any amendment of it so furnished shall be prima facie evidence that it is the certified copy so furnished.
 
(6) Where any rating authority authorised to make and levy rates on the parcel uses a valuation of the parcel made by a valuing authority showing the body corporate as owner, the following provisions have effect:
 

(a) the value of the parcel shown in the valuation is to be apportioned by the rating authority between the lots comprised in the parcel in proportion to the unit entitlement of the respective lots as shown on the registered strata plan or any amendment; and

 

(b) subject to this Act, the body corporate is not liable in relation to the parcel for any rate made and levied by the municipal council, local government council or other rating authority, as the case may be; and

 

(c) the proprietor of each lot comprised in the parcel is deemed to be the owner in possession of the lot as if it were a separate parcel of land having a value equal to that apportioned to it under paragraph (a) and is, subject to any exemptions or concessions that may be applicable, liable accordingly for any rate made and levied by the municipal council, local government council or other rating authority, as the case may be, on the owners of land.
 

PART 9 - VOTING

21. Proprietor - voting rights

(1) Any voting powers conferred by or under this Act may be exercised:

(a) in the case of a proprietor who is an infant, by his guardian; or

 

(b) in the case of a proprietor who is for any reason unable to control his or her property, by the person who for the time being is authorised by law to control that property.
 
(2) If the Court upon the application of the body corporate or of any proprietor is satisfied that there is no person able to vote in respect of a lot, the Court:
 

(a) must, in cases where the unanimous resolution is required by this Act; and
 

(b) may in its discretion in any other case,
 
appoint a fit and proper person with appropriate qualifications for the purpose of exercising the powers of voting under this Act.
 
(3) The Court may order service of notice of such application on such persons as it thinks fit or may dispense with service of such notice.
 
(4) On making any such appointment, the Court may make such order as it thinks necessary or expedient to give effect to such appointment including an order as to the payment of costs of the application, and may vary any orders so made.
 

22. Mortgagee - voting rights

(1) Where a proprietor's interest is subject to a registered mortgage, a power of voting conferred on a proprietor by or under this Act:

(a) where a unanimous resolution is required, must not be exercised by the proprietor, but is to be exercised by the registered mortgagee first entitled in priority; and

 

(b) in all other cases, may be exercised by the mortgagee first entitled in priority, and must not be exercised by the proprietor when such mortgagee is present personally or by proxy.
 
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply unless the mortgagee has given written notice of the mortgage to the body corporate.
 

PART 10 - GENERAL

23. Rights to enter the parcel

If any public authority, municipal council, local government council or person authorised by it has a statutory right to enter upon any part of the parcel, such authority or council or person is entitled to enter upon any other part of the parcel to the extent necessary or expedient to enable it or him or her to exercise the statutory powers.

24. Appointment of receiver

 
(1) The body corporate or any person having an interest in a lot may apply to the Court for the appointment of a receiver.
 
(2) The Court may in its discretion on cause shown appoint a receiver for an indefinite period or for a fixed period on such terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise as it thinks fit.
 
(3) The receiver has, to the exclusion of the body corporate, the powers and duties of the body corporate or such of those powers and duties as the Court orders.
 
(4) The receiver may delegate any of the powers so vested in him or her.
 
(5) The Court may in its discretion on the application of the receiver or any person referred to in subsection (1) remove or replace the receiver.
 
(6) On any application made under this section, the Court may make such order for the payment of costs as it thinks fit.
 

25. Postal delivery service

 
(1) The body corporate must cause to be continually available at or near the front building alignment of the parcel a receptacle suitable for purposes of postal delivery, with the name of the body corporate clearly designated on it.
 
(2) A document may be served on the body corporate or the council thereof by post enclosed in a prepaid letter addressed to the body corporate or the council, as the case may be, at the address shown on the strata plan or by placing it in the receptacle referred to in subsection one of this section.
 
(3) For the purposes of this section "document" includes summons, notice, order and other legal process.
 

26. Offences

 

If default is made in complying with any duty imposed on the body corporate under this Act, the body corporate and each member of the council of the body corporate who is knowingly a party to the default is guilty of an offence punishable on conviction by a fine:

(a) in the case of an individual - not exceeding VT 1,000,000; and

 

(b) in the case of the body corporate - not exceeding VT 10,000,000.
 
27. Regulations
 
The Minister may make regulations not inconsistent with this Act for and with respect to:
 

(a) the manner and form of registering a strata plan; and

 

(b) the fees to be paid for any procedure or function required or permitted to be done under this Act; and
 
all matters which by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or which are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.
 

28. Commencement

 
This Act commences on the day on which it is published in the Gazette.
 

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SCHEDULE 1
BY-LAWS
Section 14

 
1. A proprietor must:
 

(a) permit the body corporate and its agents, at all reasonable times on notice (except in case of emergency when no notice shall be required), to enter his or her lot for the purpose of inspecting it and maintaining, repairing and renewing pipes, wires, cables and ducts for the time being existing in the lot and capable of being used in connection with the enjoyment of any other lot or common property, or for the purpose of maintaining, repairing or renewing common property, or for the purpose of ensuring that the by-laws are being observed; and

 

(b) forthwith carry out all work that may be ordered by any competent public or local authority in respect of his or her lot other than such work as may be for the benefit of the building generally and pay all rates, taxes, charges, outgoings and assessments that may be payable in respect of the lot; and

 

(c) repair and maintain his or her lot, and keep the same in a state of good repair, reasonable wear and tear, and damage by fire, storm, tempest or act of force majeure excepted; and

 

(d) use and enjoy the common property in such a manner as not unreasonably to interfere with the use and enjoyment thereof by other proprietors or their families or visitors; and

 

(e) not use his or her lot nor permit it to be used in such manner or for such purpose as shall cause a nuisance or hazard to any occupier of a lot (whether a proprietor or not) or the family of such occupier; and

 

(f) notify the body corporate immediately upon any change of ownership or of any mortgage or other dealing in connection with the lot.
 
2 The body corporate must:
 

(a) control, manage and administer the common property for the benefit of all proprietors; and

 

(b) keep in a state of good and serviceable repair and properly maintain the fixtures and fittings (including elevators) used in connection with the common property; and

 

(c) where practicable establish and maintain suitable lawns and gardens on the common property; and

 

(d) maintain and repair (including renewals where reasonably necessary) pipes, wires, cables and ducts for the time being existing in the parcel and capable of being used in connection with the enjoyment of more than one lot or common property; and

 

(e) on the written request of a proprietor, or registered mortgagee of a lot, produce to such proprietor or mortgagee, or person authorised in writing by such proprietor or mortgagee the policy or policies of insurance effected by the body corporate, and the receipt or receipts of the last premium or premiums in respect thereof.
 
3 The body corporate may:
 

(a) purchase, hire, or otherwise acquire personal property; and

 

(b) borrow moneys required by it in the performance of its duties or the exercise of its powers; and

 

(c) secure the repayment of moneys borrowed by it, and the payment of interest thereon, by negotiable instrument, or charge on unpaid contributions (whether levied or not), or mortgage of any property vested in it, or by combination of those means; and

 

(d) invest as it may determine any moneys in the fund for administrative expenses; and

 

(e) make an agreement with any proprietor or occupier of a lot for the provision of amenities or services by it to such lot or to the proprietor or occupier of it; and

 

(f) grant to a proprietor the right to exclusive use and enjoyment of common property, or special privileges in respect of common property, provided that any such grant shall be determinable on reasonable notice unless the body corporate by unanimous resolution otherwise resolves; and

 

(g) do all things reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the by-laws and the control, management and administration of the common property.
 
4 The powers and duties of the body corporate shall, subject to any restriction imposed or direction given at a general meeting, be exercised and performed by the council of the body corporate.
 
5 The council shall consist of not less than three nor more than seven proprietors and shall be elected at each annual general meeting, provided that where there are not more than three proprietors, the council shall consist of all proprietors.
 
6 Except where the council consists of all the proprietors, the body corporate may by resolution at an extraordinary general meeting remove any member of the council before the expiration of his or her term of office and appoint another proprietor in his or her place to hold office until the next annual general meeting.
 
7 Any casual vacancy on the council may be filled by the remaining members of the council.
 
8 Except where there is only one proprietor, a quorum of the council shall be two; where the council consists of four or less members the quorum shall be three; where it consists of five or six members the quorum shall be four; where it consists of seven members, the quorum shall be not less than 5 members.
 
9 At the commencement of each meeting the council shall elect a chairman for the meeting, and if any chairman so elected shall vacate the chair during the course of a meeting the council shall choose in his stead another chairman who shall have the same rights of voting.
 
10 At meetings of the council all matters shall be determined by simple majority vote.
 
11 The council may:
 

(a) meet together for the conduct of business, adjourn and otherwise regulate its meetings as it thinks fit, provided that it shall meet when any member gives to the other members not less than seven days' notice of a meeting proposed by him, specifying the reason for calling such meeting; and

 

(b) employ for and on behalf of the body corporate such agents and servants as it thinks fit in connection with the control, management, and administration of the common property and the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of the body corporate; and

 

(c) subject to any restriction imposed or direction given by a general meeting, delegate to one or more of its members such of its powers and duties as it thinks fit and at any time revoke such delegation.
 
12 The council must:
 

(a) keep minutes of its proceedings; and

 

(b) cause minutes to be kept of general meetings; and

 

(c) cause proper books of accounts to be kept in respect of all sums of money received and expended by it and the matters in respect of which such receipt and expenditure take place; and

 

(d) prepare proper accounts relating to all moneys of the body corporate, and the income and expenditure thereof, for each annual general meeting; and

 

(e) on application of a proprietor or mortgagee, or any person authorised in writing by him or her make the books of account available for inspection at all reasonable times.
 
13 All acts done in good faith by the council shall notwithstanding it be afterwards discovered that there was some defect in the appointment to or continuance in office of any member of the council be as valid as if such member had been duly appointed or had duly continued in office.
 
14 A general meeting of proprietors shall be held within three months after registration of the strata plan.
 
15 Subsequent general meetings shall be held once in each year provided that not more than fifteen months shall elapse between the date of one annual general meeting and that of the next.
 
16 All general meetings other than the annual general meeting shall be called extraordinary general meetings.
 
17 The council may whenever it thinks fit and shall upon a requisition in writing made by proprietors entitled to twenty-five per centum of the total unit entitlement of the lots convene an extraordinary general meeting.
 
18 Seven days' notice of every general meeting specifying the place, the date and the hour of meeting and in case of special business the general nature of such business shall be given to all proprietors and registered first mortgagees who have notified their interests to the body corporate. However, accidental omission to give such notice to any proprietor or to any registered first mortgagee or non-receipt of such notice by any proprietor or registered first mortgagee shall not invalidate any proceedings at any such meeting.
 
19 All business shall be deemed special that is transacted at an annual general meeting with the exception of the consideration of accounts and election of members to the council, or at an extraordinary general meeting.
 
20 Except as otherwise provided in the by-laws, no business shall be transacted at any general meeting unless a quorum of persons entitled to vote is present at the time when the meeting proceeds to business. One-half of the persons entitled to vote present in person or by proxy shall constitute a quorum.
 
21 If within one-half hour from the time appointed for a general meeting a quorum is not present the meeting shall stand adjourned to the same day in the next week at the same place and time and if at the adjourned meeting a quorum is not present within one-half hour from the time appointed for the meeting the persons entitled to vote present shall be a quorum.
 
22 At the commencement of a general meeting a chairman of the meeting shall be elected.
 
23 At any general meeting a resolution by the vote of the meeting shall be decided on a show of hands unless a poll is demanded by any proprietor present in person or by proxy. Unless a poll be so demanded a declaration by the chairman that a resolution has on the show of hands been carried shall be conclusive evidence of the fact without proof of the number or proportion of votes recorded in favour of or against such resolution. A demand for a poll may be withdrawn.
 
24 A poll, if demanded, shall be taken in such manner as the chairman thinks fit and the result of the poll shall be deemed to be the resolution of the meeting at which such poll was demanded.
 
25 In the case of equality in the votes whether on a show of hands or on a poll the chairman of the meeting shall be entitled to a casting vote.
 
26 On a show of hands each proprietor shall have one vote; on a poll the votes of proprietors shall correspond with the unit entitlement of their respective lots.
 
27 On a show of hands or on a poll votes may be give either personally or by proxy.
 
28 An instrument appointing a proxy shall be in writing under the hand of the appointer or his attorney, and may be either general or for a particular meeting. A proxy need not be a proprietor.
 
29 Except in cases where by or under this Act a unanimous resolution is required, no proprietor shall be entitled to vote at any general meeting unless all contributions payable in respect of his lot have been duly paid.
 
30 Co-proprietors may vote by proxy jointly appointed by them, and in the absence of such proxy shall not be entitled to vote on a show of hands, except when the unanimous resolution of proprietors is required by this Act. Any one co-proprietor may demand a poll. On any poll each co-proprietor shall be entitled to such part of the vote applicable to a lot as is proportionate to his or her interest in the lot. The joint proxy (if any) on a poll shall have a vote proportionate to the interests in the lot of such of the joint proprietors as do not vote personally or by individual proxy.
 
31 Where proprietors are entitled to successive interests in a lot, the proprietor entitled to the first interest shall alone be entitled to vote, whether on a show of hands or a poll; and this by-law shall be applicable whether by this Act the unanimous resolution of proprietors is required or not.
 
32 Where a proprietor is a trustee he shall exercise the voting rights in respect of the lot to the exclusion of persons beneficially interested in the trust, and such persons shall not vote.
 
33 The body corporate shall have a common seal which shall at no time be used except by authority of the council previously given and in the presence of the members of the council or at least two members of the Council, who shall sign every instrument to which the seal is affixed. Provided that where there is only one member of the body corporate his or her signature shall be sufficient for the purpose of this clause.
 
34 The by-laws in Schedule 2 may be amended by ordinary resolution of the body corporate.
 
35 A special resolution means a resolution passed at a general meeting of which at least fourteen days' notice specifying the proposed special resolution has been given by a majority of not less than three-fourths of the total unit entitlement of the lots, and not less than three-fourths of all members.
 

SCHEDULE 2
BY-LAWS
Section 14

 
1 A proprietor must not:
 

(a) use his lot for any purpose which may be illegal or injurious to the reputation of the building; or

 

(b) make undue noise in or about any lot or common property; or

 

(c) keep any animals on his lot or the common property after notice in that behalf from the council.
 
2 When the purpose for which a lot is intended to be used is shown expressly or by necessary implication on or by the registered strata plan, a proprietor shall not use the lot for any other purpose nor permit the same so to be used.

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