Yes, you will probably have to pay a strata manager, but this will be a lot less of the fee than you would expect.
But strata is more than that. It is a legal framework that is designed to protect owners.
A few years back I sold a villa in Waratah. It had two attached dwellings at the back of the block. It was one of those rare cases where it had shared walls and roof but was on Torrens title (the normal title if you owned your own place).
At the time, buyers loved the fact that it wasn’t strata. But shortly after my client Belinda moved in, there was a leak from the bath in the unit next door. The leak spilt over into Belinda’s place causing thousands of dollars of damage.
After contacting her insurance company, Belinda was told that she wasn’t covered for the claim because it didn’t fit their underwriting guidelines. Basically, the leak didn’t start in her unit so it wasn’t their responsibility.
Unfortunately, the neighbour’s insurance also refused to pay because the damage was not actually to the house they were insuring (so why would they?).
The insurance company would have paid the claim if it was on Strata title as the building insurance under strata is usually combined.
Belinda did some complaining and luckily for her, the claim was eventually paid. To prevent future issues, the two unit owners decided to swap over the title from Torrens to Strata.
I guess the moral to this little story is not to discount strata so quickly. It’s actually a pretty good system and one that eventually most of us will have to get used to.