Responsibilities of Owners Corporations
(The below information and advice is general in nature and is in line with the current legislation as at 18/10/2017)
An owner’s corporation (formerly body corporate) manages the common/shared sections of a property. They are governed by the legislation set out in the Owner’s Corporation Act 2006 and the Owners Corporation Regulations 2007.
It’s often confusing to know whose responsibility it is surrounding a number of issues at a property that has an owner’s corporation, so here is a guide to who has responsibility for each issue.
What is Common Property?
The plan of subdivision defines which areas on a property are common and which are not. Generally speaking, driveways, some garden areas, letterboxes and bin storage areas are on common property, while backyards, some front yards and private driveways are not. It’s always best to check the plan of subdivision to be sure. Your owner’s corporation manager will be able to assist with this query. Alternatively you may contact Land Victoria who may assist with your enquiry.
It is mandatory and the responsibility of the owners corporation to have a strata insurance policy in place to cover the common areas of the property as well as each building on the property as a whole. The policy must be for replacement value of the buildings as well as legal liability.
The owners corporation has a duty to raise fees from each owner on the property to pay for insurances, financial obligations and maintenance costs. They must also keep financial records of evidence of expenses and fees raised.
The owners corporation has a duty to repair and maintain all common property areas, fixtures and services.
The common property may include any gardens, plumbing or other services and any other objects or installations. In some cases this may include guttering on the buildings; For example, lifts, stairwells, hallways, fences, walls and driveways. For more clarification on what is to be covered by the owner’s corporation, it’s best to speak with you owner’s corporation manager. Alternatively, you may contact Land Victoria who may assist with your enquiry.
It’s important to remember that tenant’s or owner occupiers cannot make alterations to any common gardens or property without permission of the owner’s corporation.
Do I Have To Be Part Of The Owner’s Corporation?
If you own property that is affected by an owners corporation then you are a member of that owners corporation and have legal and financial responsibilities to the owner’s corporation.
There are certain types of owners corporations that have special rules associated with them. Such owners corporations can be:
- 2 lot subdivisions
- Owner’s corporations that have more than 100 lots or raise more than $200,000 in fees per year (Prescribed Owner’s Corporations)
- Multiple owner’s corporations that affect the one area
Specific information for these types of owner’s corporation can be found on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website:
Prescribed Owner’s Corporations – https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/owners-corporations/buying-into-an-owners-corporation/prescribed-owners-corporations
Multiple Owner’s Corporations – https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/owners-corporations/buying-into-an-owners-corporation/multiple-owners-corporations
Complaints and Disputes
In regards to tenanted properties, should a complaint be raised with the owners corporation about noise or incorrect use of the common property, they will notify your property manager who’s responsibility it is to follow through with a breach to the tenant.
Alternatively, should there be plumbing or other maintenance issues on common property, it is the property manager’s responsibility to contact the owners corporation to have repair arranged. The owner or property manager does not have authority to have works done on common property without owners corporation permission.
Your Owners Corporation Manager
It’s important to have a good owners corporation manager who is diligent and efficient in the same way that it’s important to have a property manager with the same qualities.
Should your manager not be performing and delivering an excellent service, we at Savoy Real Estate recommend you contact Chris Rodoni from Auswide Strata Management Pty Ltd. Chris is an excellent operator with a wealth of knowledge and experience under her belt. Her contact details can be found below:
Chris Rodoni – Auswide Strata Management Pty Ltd
Contact – 03 9188 4233
Email – [email protected]
Should you require further information about owner’s corporations, feel free to contact Savoy Real Estate on 1300 328 848.