Whether you’re buying into an Owner’s Corporation or starting one up, knowing what they are and how they work is the first step in making sure that it is successful, efficient, and most of all, works to help the lot owners enjoy their new community.
Definition of an owners corporation
An owners corporation (formerly body corporate) manages the common property of a residential, commercial, retail, or mixed-use property development on behalf of all the lot owners.
You will be a automatically become a member of your owners corporation on settlement of your lot. Your ‘body corporate’ became an owners corporation on 31 December 2007, when the Owners Corporations Act 2006 came into force. This law sets out the duties and powers of owners corporations.
Plan of subdivision
An owners corporation is automatically created when a plan of subdivision containing common property is registered at Land Victoria. Land Victoria registers and records owners corporation applications received either with a plan of subdivision, or lodged following registration of the plan of subdivision.
Common property is whatever it is stated to be on the plan of subdivision and may include gardens, roadways, driveways, gyms, pools, playgrounds, tennis courts and BBQ areas. The owners corporation is responsible for the common property – the Owners Corporations Act 2006 states that the owners corporation must, among other things, manage, administer, repair and maintain the common property.
When subdividing a property, the parcels of land that can be sold separately are called ‘lots’. Owners of these lots automatically become members of the Owner’s Corporation.
Do I have to be part of the Owner’s Corporation?
If you own property affected by an Owner’s Corporation then you become a member of that Owner’s Corporation automatically. As a member, you have legal and financial responsibilities to the Owner’s Corporation, including paying fees, and maintaining your property to an acceptable standard.
The key benefit of an Owner’s Corporation
While it may seem complex, the Owner’s Corporation exists to ensure that the areas around your property are well maintained, and that all people sharing the property act according to the agreed upon rules and design guidelines. A good Owner’s Corporation will keep you safe, your property secure and enhance your community now, and in the future.