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What is Owners Corporation (Body Corporate)?

What is owners corporation?

If you own a flat, apartment, or unit, you are likely a member of an owners corporation. An owners corporation, formerly known as a body corporate, is a legal entity that manages the common property of a multi-occupancy property development. This includes residential, commercial, retail, industrial, or mixed-use properties.

The owners corporation is responsible for maintaining and repairing the common property, such as shared driveways, gardens, and lifts. It also collects fees from owners to cover the cost of maintaining the property. The owners corporation is run by a committee, which is elected by the owners. The committee’s role is to make decisions on behalf of the owners corporation. For example, approving the budget and deciding on repairs and maintenance.

Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the owners corporation is important for all owners. It is also important to understand your membership and entitlements as an owner. Different property types and uses may have additional features and facilities that are managed by the owners corporation. It is important to be aware of these additional features and facilities and how they are managed.


Understanding Owners Corporation

In Victoria, the Land Use Victoria registers plans of subdivision which create or alter owners corporations, as well as the rules that govern them. In New South Wales, the Strata Plan is used to define the boundaries of each lot and common property.

The functions of the owners corporation include managing and administering the common property. They are also responsible for repairing and maintaining the common property, fixtures, and services. In addition to this, they take out and maintain the required insurance. The owners corporation is also responsible for ensuring that the property is in good condition. They also make sure that the property complies with various legal requirements and regulations.

The Owners Corporations Act 2006 and the Owners Corporations Regulations 2018 set out the legal and financial responsibilities and powers of an owners corporation. These include the power to make rules, impose penalties, and recover debts. The owners corporation must hold an annual general meeting and keep accurate records of its meetings, finances, and other activities.

An owners corporation manages the common property of a property development and represents the collective interests of the owners. It is responsible for ensuring that the property is in good condition. It also ensures that the property complies with legal requirements and regulations, and manages finances and other activities.


Roles and Responsibilities

As an owners corporation, you have a number of roles and responsibilities that you must fulfill. This is to ensure the smooth running of your property. These roles and responsibilities can be broadly divided into three categories. These categories are; management and administration, legal and financial duties, and maintenance and dispute resolution.

Management and Administration

The owners corporation is responsible for the day-to-day running of the property. This includes managing the common property, delegating tasks to the strata manager or committee. It also ensures that the property is being managed in accordance with the relevant legislation and regulations.

The management and administration of the property involves a number of tasks. These tasks include licensing, management of the committees, registration of the owners corporation, and the creation and enforcement of rules. The owners corporation must also maintain records of all financial transactions, contracts, and proxies. They must also ensure that financial statements are prepared and presented to the owners on an annual basis.

Legal and Financial Duties

The owners corporation has a number of legal and financial responsibilities that must be fulfilled. These include ensuring that the property is registered with the relevant authorities and obtaining professional indemnity insurance. It also ensures that the property is being managed in accordance with the relevant legislation.

The owners corporation must also ensure that it is meeting its financial obligations. These include collection of fees from owners to meet financial obligations, the maintenance of the building’s essential safety measures (ESMs), and the preparation of financial statements.

Maintenance and Dispute Resolution

The owners corporation is responsible for the maintenance of the common property. This includes the repair and maintenance of the building and its facilities. It must also ensure that any disputes that arise between owners are resolved in a timely and efficient manner.

To ensure that the property is being properly maintained, the owners corporation must establish a maintenance plan and maintain a maintenance fund. The owners corporation must also ensure that any maintenance work is carried out in accordance with the relevant legislation and regulations.

In the event of a dispute, the owners corporation must take appropriate steps to resolve the dispute. This includes engaging in mediation or legal proceedings if necessary. It must also ensure that it is complying with all relevant legislation and regulations. For example, the Owners Corporation Act and the Building Management Ordinance.

The owners corporation has important responsibilities that must be fulfilled to ensure the smooth running of the property. By fulfilling these responsibilities, the it can ensure that the property is being properly managed and maintained, and that the collective interests of the owners are being protected.


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Membership and Entitlements

As a member of an owners corporation, you have certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to managing the common property of your development. This section will cover the basics of membership and entitlements, including lot ownership, lot entitlements, and lot liabilities.

Membership and Meetings

All lot owners are automatically members of the owners corporation. The owners corp is responsible for managing the common property of the development. The owners corporation committee is made up of elected members who act on behalf of the landlords.

Meetings are held regularly to discuss matters related to the owners corporation. These matters include the annual general meeting and special general meetings. The first meeting is usually held within 6 months of the registration of the plan of subdivision.

Lot Ownership and Entitlements

Lot ownership refers to your ownership of a specific lot within the development. The Lot entitlements refer to your share of the common property that you own, which is based on the size and location of your lot. Lot liabilities refer to the expenses that you must pay as a lot owner, which are based on your lot entitlement.

The lot entitlement and liabilities are set out in the plan of subdivision and can be changed by unanimous resolution by the lot owners. As a member of the owners corporation, you are entitled to vote on matters related to the management of the common property, including changes to the lot entitlement and liabilities.

Individual lot owners can also become part of the executive committee, which is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the owners corporation. The executive committee is made up of elected members who act on behalf of the owners corporation’s only members.

Minutes of Meetings

Minutes of meetings are important documents that record decisions made at meetings of the owners corporation committee and general meetings. These minutes should be kept for at least 7 years and made available to members upon request.

The first annual general meeting must be held within 18 months of the registration of the plan of subdivision, and yearly meetings must be held thereafter. It is important for members to attend these meetings or appoint a proxy to ensure that their interests are represented.

Understanding your membership and entitlements as a member of an owners corp is important for managing the common property of your development. By attending meetings, reviewing minutes, and staying informed, you can help ensure that your interests are represented and that the owners corp is managed effectively.


Property Types and Uses

When a plan of subdivision contains common property, an owners corporation is automatically created. This legal entity comprises all the individuals that own various lots in a strata scheme. It represents the collective interests of these owners. It also carries out tasks required under relevant laws, including the maintenance of common property.

Owners corporations are essential for managing and maintaining properties, particularly those with multiple owners. They ensure that common areas are kept in good condition. They also ensure that all owners contribute to the cost of maintenance and repairs.

Commercial properties, such as office buildings and shopping centres, often have owners corporations to manage the common areas and ensure that the property is well-maintained. Apartment buildings and mixed-use property developments also commonly have owners corporations.

Owners corporations play an important role in managing and maintaining properties. They ensure that the properties are kept in good condition and that all owners contribute to the cost of upkeep.


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Additional Features and Facilities

As a member of an owners corporation, you will have access to a range of additional features and facilities that are managed by the corp. These can include walls, gardens, pathways, driveways, lifts, foyers, fences, passages, stairwells, and more.

Fees

One of the most important aspects of being a member of an owners corporation is paying fees. The fees you pay will go towards maintaining and improving the communal areas of the building, as well as ensuring the proper functioning of any communal building services such as lifts and other amenities.

Levies

In addition to regular fees, an owners corporation may also levy special fees for building works or major works that need to be carried out. These special levies are designed to cover the costs of any major repairs or upgrades that are necessary to maintain the building’s communal areas.

The most common fees of an owners corp include administrative fees, insurance fees, and maintenance fees. Administrative fees cover the cost of managing the corporation, while insurance fees cover the cost of insuring the building and its communal areas. Maintenance fees cover the cost of maintaining the building’s communal areas, including general repairs and upkeep.

Communal Areas

It is important to note that an owners corporation has a general nature of responsibility for the building’s communal areas, including the building’s communal areas. This means that the corporation is responsible for ensuring that these areas are kept in good condition and are safe for use by all residents.

To ensure that the corporation is able to carry out its responsibilities effectively, it may use a common seal. The common seal is a stamp that is used to authenticate official documents and transactions carried out by the corporation.

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