In the multi-occupancy subdivision of lands and buildings, an owners’ corporation represents a body that manages the common entitlements and amenities within such buildings and lands. Owners’ corporation is the same as the erstwhile Body corporate that was in vogue till the beginning of the year 2008. All properties falling under residential, retail, commercial, mixed-use or industrial class can have an owners’ corporation. The changes in the Act also introduced a new framework for the management of sub-divisions having multi-occupancy giving rise to the owners’ corporation. This change in the act was necessary to comply with the Victorian legislation and to follow the same terminology used in other states and also emphasize that the intent of an owners’ corporation was to afford protection to the interests of all those who enjoyed ownership of different lots in the same sub-divided property. Strata plan represent Australian business organisations invested with the task of providing troubleshooting services for Owners’ corporations and also striving continuously for providing enduring solutions.
Before dealing with the benefits from owners’ corporations it is essential to understand its functioning, constitution, the powers and duties. Until December 2007, the present-day owners’ corporations were known as a body corporate and frequently referred to as Strata. An owner of a property within an owners’ corporation is automatically enrolled as a member of the respective owners’ corporation. With such membership, the owners are entitled to the benefits of the corporation and are bound by the regulations set forth by the owners’ corporation.
The duties and powers of owners’ corporations and their management are set forth by the law. Therefore if you are a member of multiple owners’ corporations, you will find that all of them have similar rules, regulations and management. Further, an owners’ corporation gets automatically created when plans for the sub-division of a property is submitted to Land Victoria for registration. The definition of common property can encompass gardens, passages, swimming pools, driveways, tennis courts, lifts, foyers, fences and walls. Members of the owners’ corporations have legal as well as financial responsibilities in the conduct of the corporation.
The Structure Owners’ Corporations
The rules and terminologies employed with regard to owners’ corporations can vary from one state to the other. Irrespective of the variations, owners’ corporations are empowered to elect a presiding officer/chairperson, treasurer and secretary. In some instances, owners’ corporations may elect a committee consisting of elected owners or their proxies to manage the everyday affairs of the corporation. If you have never been exposed to owners’ corporations in the past, it may be a good idea to consult professionals like Strata Plan – Australia for competent advice with regard to multiple issues concerning owners’ corporations.
The owners’ corporation is responsible for carrying out repairs to the common areas of the property and ensure that such repairs are carried out at the earliest possible opportunity. However, you should also remember that only owners of properties in the owners’ corporation are part of the corporation enjoying the benefits and shouldering the responsibilities of the corporation. In other words, tenants are not covered by the owners’ corporations. If tenants have any issues with regard to common properties within the estate, they can interact with the owners’ corporation for expeditious resolution or work through their respective owners. Nevertheless, in instances where owners’ corporation fails to carry out the repairs within a reasonable time frame or refused to undertake the repairs, tenants may be entitled to explore other options including approaching a higher tribunal. With larger owners’ corporations, there may be multiple issues requiring attention at a given point in time. Therefore, instant resolution may not be available to certain issues. In genuine instances, it might, therefore, be desirable to show some patience.
If you are planning to buy into or rent a property or part of it, governed by owners’ corporation, you will have to gain a complete understanding of how the owners’ corporation treats issues with regard to pets. A large number of owners’ corporations put a blanket ban on pets to avoid potential problems. Nevertheless, in rare instances, you may be able to negotiate a space for your pets, potentially with some tough conditions accompanying such permission. In practice, however, you should be prepared to part with your pets before moving into an owners’ corporation. Nothing will prevent you from donating your pet to another friend or finding an appropriate shelter home for your pet/s.
Your benefits as a member of owners’ corporations
- A major benefit that can flow to you as a member of an owners’ corporation is that you have a say in running the common property. Decisions made by the owners’ corporation can impact the value of your share of the property and therefore you should be agile.
- You can suggest ways to run the owners’ corporation and share awareness of the plans of other owners with regard to the property
- Being an active member of the owners’ corporation can influence the common good for the property
- The integrity of your asset is protected since the entire estate will always remain safe, clean and well-manicured.
- Get competitive pricing from insurance carriers for your building/home insurance compared to negotiating policy rate individually.
- A neutral and pro-active manager is always available for resolving potential problems and disputes among owners.
- Insurances like building insurance and public liability insurance remain properly updated
- All administrative and government reporting is taken care of, saving time for completion of the relevant paperwork.
Owners’ corporation should be seen more as an integral part of your investment than as an expense as it provides a protective layer to your investment.