What is an Owners Corporation? Body Corporate? Strata?

An Owners Corporation (formally Body Corporate in Victoria) is automatically created when a Plan of Subdivision containing Common Property is registered with Land Use Victoria. An Owners Corporation contains shared or strata title.

If you are an Owner of a townhouse or apartment where there is Common Property it means you are a member of that Owners Corporation automatically upon purchase of your property or “Lot”. While you will have ownership of your Lot you will have shared ownership of the Common Property with all other owners on the Plan of Subdivision.

As a member, you have legal and financial responsibilities as well as having a say on how your Owners Corporation is run.  You must therefore, be aware of your core responsibilities so you can stay informed and be involved in all things related to your property.

The Owners Corporation has the primary responsibility of overseeing and managing all common areas, infrastructure and shared amenities within a strata property. The Owners Corporation, of which you are part, 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 e.g. all common areas, infrastructure and shared amenities within a property.

Common Property consists of is whatever it is stated to be on the Plan of Subdivision and may include gardens, passages, walls, stairwells, pathways, driveways, lifts, foyers and fences etc.

As members of the Owners Corporation you and your fellow Owners are required to:

  1. Oversee, manage and ensure timely maintenance and repairs of all structures within the common property;
  2. Manage the finances, funds and budgets including:
  3. issuing Levies to owners to meet financial obligations; and
  4. prepare financial statements and keep financial records.
  5. Take out public liability insurance and replacement and reinstatement insurance for all buildings on the Common Property;
  6. Keep records of the Owners Corporation: ;
  7. Keep an Owners Corporation register;
  8. Appoint a committee;
  9. Establish a grievance procedure;
  10. Hold an Annual General Meeting and report to all Owners on the activities and finances of the Owners Corporation;
  11. Ensure all legislative requirements are followed and complied with.

Your Owners Corporation should also appoint an Owners Corporation Manager to support, guide and advise your Owners Corporation. This is very important given the number of complex issues that often arise.

Gail Robertson
Senior Strata Manager
Network Pacific Strata Management
Ph:  0414 427 111
gailr@networkpacific.com.au