What is an Owners Corporation?
The lot you are considering buying is part of an owners corporation. Whenever a plan of subdivision creates common property, owners corporation management is responsible for managing the common property. A purchaser of a lot that is part of an owners corporation automatically becomes a member of the owners corporation when the transfer of that lot to the purchaser has been registered with Land Victoria.
If you buy into an owners corporation, you will be purchasing not only the individual property, but also ownership of, and the right to use, the common property as set out in the plan of subdivision. This common property may include driveways, stairs, paths, passages, lifts, lobbies, common garden areas and other facilities set up for use by owners and occupiers. In order to identify the boundary between the individual lot you are purchasing (for which the owner is solely responsible) and the common property (for which all members of the owners corporation are responsible), you should closely inspect the plan of subdivision.
How are Decisions Made by an Owners Corporation?
As an owner, you will be required to make financial contributions to the owners corporation, in particular for the repair, maintenance and management of the common property. Decisions as to the management of this common property will be the subject of collective decision making. Decisions as to these financial contributions, which may involve significant expenditure, will be decided by a vote.
Owners Corporation Rules & Regulations
The owners corporation rules may deal with matters such as car parking, noise, pets, the appearance or use of lots, behaviour of owners, occupiers or guests and grievance procedures.
You should look at the owners corporation rules to consider any restrictions imposed by the rules.
How are Costs Allocated? – Lot Entitlement and Lot Liability
The plan of subdivision will also show your lot entitlement and lot liability. Lot liability represents the share of owners corporation expenses that each lot owner is required to pay.
Lot entitlement is an owner’s share of ownership of the common property, which determines voting rights. You should make sure that the allocation of lot liability and entitlement for the lot you are considering buying seems fair and reasonable.
If you are interested in finding out more about living in an owners corporation, you can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria. If you require further information about the particular owners corporation you are buying into you can inspect that owners corporation’s information register.
Management of an Owners Corporation
An owners corporation may be self-managed by the lot owners or professionally managed by an owners corporation manager. If an owners corporation chooses to appoint a professional manager, it must be a manager registered with the Business Licensing Authority (BLA).
If you are uncertain about any aspect of the owners corporation or the documents you have received from the owners corporation, you should seek expert advice.
Time to Change Strata Management Companies?
Strata Consultants Melbourne has been helping and guiding Committees on how to change owners corporation management companies since January 2014. We guide you through the process of changing body corporate management company and everything is done according to the body corporate rules and regulations. Speak to a Strata Consultant about changing owners corporation managers on 1300 917 848.