Are you looking to rent or buy within a duplex, unit block, townhouse complex or an apartment building? Don’t get caught up in the excitement, location and appearances. Body corporate by-laws can cause a lot of confusion, especially for first time renters/buyers. That’s why it is important to understand what body corporate is, what it does and how to live in the realms of it.

What is body corporate?

+ Body corporate is also known as “Strata Scheme”. This is a legal entity that’s made up of members who own a lot within the property. Body corporates are created when land is subdivided and registered under the Land Title Act 1994.

What is the body corporate’s role?

Body corporate’s role involves administering the common property and its assets in a way that benefits all owners. Their role also includes:

+ Maintaining, managing and controlling the common property on behalf of owners

+ Deciding the amounts to be paid by owners/renters to make sure body corporate can operate

+ Enforcing the by-laws (eg. Safety and security, common property use, building appearance, car parking, pets, noise, behaviour, rubbish disposal, property damage)

+ Taking out insurance on behalf of owners, like building and public risk insurance

+ Managing and controlling the assets of body corporate

+ Keeping record of the body corporate, including minutes of meetings, the roll of owner details, the financial accounts, registers of assets, and improvements to the common property

Working from home due to social distancing , woman is filling out tax form

Is a body corporate required in all complexes?

+ Yes, as it’s a legal entity that is created when land is subdivided, establishing a community titles scheme.

What are your duties and obligations within body corporate?

+ Obeying the schemes’ by-laws

+ Keeping their lot in good condition

+ Not interfering unreasonably with the use or enjoyment of another lot or the common property

+ Not creating a nuisance or hazard