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FAQ

Frequently asked

questions

Body Corporate

What is a Body Corporate?

A body corporate is a legal entity which is created when land is subdivided and registered under the Land Title Act to establish a community titles scheme.

Who is a member of the Body Corporate?

All the owners in a Community Titles Scheme are automatically members of the Body Corporate.

What is a Body Corporate Manager and what is their role?

A body corporate manager for a scheme is a person or business who supplies administrative services to a Body Corporate as per the Administration Agreement that is entered into with the Body Corporate.

If a body corporate has elected a committee, the body corporate manager is engaged to help them. The manager can only act under the instructions of the Body Corporate.

What is a Community Titles Scheme?

A development of freehold land which includes common property is referred to as a community titles scheme (CTS).  A community titles scheme is a single community management statement, scheme land, at least two or more lots and contains common property.

What is the Community Management Statement?

The Community Management Statement is a document that identifies a community titles scheme and contains relevant information for the lot owners.  Some of this information includes:

  • Name and number of the Community Titles Scheme
  • Contribution Schedule Lot and Interest Entitlement Schedules
  • Body Corporate By-Laws
  • Description of any Exclusive Use Areas

What are Lot Entitlements?

The contribution schedule lot entitlements are used to calculate each owner’s share of most body corporate costs.

What is the Interest Schedule?

The interest schedule lot entitlements are used to determine each owner’s share of common property, body corporate assets and liabilities and insurance premiums.

What are by-laws?

Body Corporate By-Laws are the rules that a body corporate makes to control and manage common property.  The Body Corporate must enforce the community management statement, which includes the by-laws.

How are By-laws enforced?

By-laws are enforced in accordance with the legislation.  Your strata manager can provide further information about the dispute resolution process.

Committee

What is a Committee?

A Committee is chosen by owners each year to handle the day-to-day administration of the Body Corporate.

Depending on the type of complex, the Committee usually comprises a minimum of three and a maximum of seven members including a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. These executive positions and any ordinary member positions should be filled each year at the Annual General Meeting. Those entitled to be elected on the Committee can be an individual owner, a member of a lot owner’s family, a person acting under Power of Attorney of a Lot owner, a company nominee or a representative of a subsidiary scheme.

Do we need to have a Committee?

Yes, there must be a Committee elected each year for a Community Titles Scheme.

What does the Caretaker do?

The caretaker carries out duties as outlined in their Agreement with the Body Corporate.

What are the Committee’s functions?

The Committee, on behalf of the Body Corporate must, in a reasonable manner:

  • Implement the lawful decisions of the Body Corporate; and
  • Administer the Common Property, the Body Corporate assets for the benefit of lot owners; and
  • Enforce the Community Management Statement (including the by-laws); and
  • Carry out any other functions as required under the Act, regulation module or Community Management Statement.

How does the Committee make decisions?

The Committee make decisions at Committee Meetings, either via a meeting or a voting paper.

Meetings

What are the different types of meetings?

Committee Meetings – where the Committee have the opportunity to make decisions on matters within their powers and expenditure limit.

General Meetings – where all owners have the opportunity to make decisions on matters outside of the Committee’s powers and/or above the Committee’s expenditure limit.

Can I vote online?

Yes, where the Body Corporate has approved for electronic transactions to take place and the appropriate software has been implemented.

Approvals

What would I need to obtain Body Corporate approval for?

Refer to your Body Corporate By-Laws for matters requiring approval for your scheme.

Common approval requests include:

  • Pets
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Solar Panels
  • Making changes to the external appearance of the lot

How do I request approval and who makes the decision?

Send your approval request with all the relevant details to your strata manager.  It is the Committee who make the approval decisions usually at a Committee Meeting.

If there is no upcoming Committee Meeting, there may an additional administrative charge applicable for a voting paper to be prepared.

Body Corporate Finance

Where do I find a copy of the financial statements?

A copy of the annual financial statements are included in each year’s Annual General Meeting notice.  Monthly financial statements are provided to the Committee on the strata portal.

What is the Administration Fund?

The Body Corporate has an Administration and a Sinking Fund and the budgets and levies for each of these funds are set each year at the Annual General Meeting.

The Administration Fund is for the day-to-day, recurring operating expenses of the Body Corporate which may include expenditure for gardening, insurance, fire equipment servicing and the body corporate manager’s fees.

What is the Sinking Fund?

The Sinking Fund is for significant or capital expenditure for common property assets.  The Sinking Fund budget should be set in accordance with the recommendations of the Sinking Fund Forecast.

The levies for each owner are then determined based on the total approved budgets inline with the contribution schedule lot entitlements and interest schedule where relevant.

What are special levies and when would they be needed?

Special levies can be used to fund various works if the budget is insufficient or if there are insufficient funds available.  Special levies can be a useful tool to fund works without increasing the Administration or Sinking Fund budgets.

The special levy is calculated for each owner based on their contribution schedule lot entitlements.

How do I pay my levies?

Please refer to your levy notice for payment options and the due date for the payment.

Insurance

Does my scheme require insurance?

The Body Corporate must take out and maintain appropriate insurance coverage for the Body Corporate each year.  A copy of the latest insurance renewal is included in the Annual General Meeting Notice.

What are the insurance requirements for a Standard Format Plan (SFP) and Building Format Plan (BFP)?

In a Building Format Plan and a Standard Format Plan, the Body Corporate must insure for full replacement value, the common property and its assets.

In a Building Format Plan, also insure to full replacement value each building containing a lot, improvements and permanent fixtures.

In a Standard Format Plan, must also insure to its full replacement value each building on a lot which has a common wall with another building.

How often should the Body Corporate obtain an Insurance Valuation?

The Body Corporate must obtain an independent updated Insurance Valuation at least every five years and ensure the insurance is taken out for the full replacement value.

Maintenance

Who is responsible for maintenance in a Body Corporate?

This depends greatly on the type of complex and the location of the maintenance issue however, as a general rule, the Body Corporate is responsible for the maintenance of the common property and the lot owner is responsible for maintenance within their lot.

What is a Building Format Plan (BFP)?

A building format plan is a form of subdivision which usually applies to multi-story unit complexes. This plan type can also apply to any other developments like townhouses, villas, housing estates or duplexes.

The body corporate must maintain common property, as well as some things that are not on common property.

The body corporate is usually responsible for maintaining:

  • the outside of the building
  • the foundations and roof of the building
  • roofing membranes that are not on common property but give protection for lots or common property
  • essential structural elements of the building (like foundation structures, roofing structures that provide protection and load-bearing walls) even if they are not on common property
  • roads, gardens and lawns on common property
  • facilities on common property (like swimming pools and barbecues)
  • railings or balustrades on, or near to, the boundary between a lot and common property, including the balustrade on a private balcony
  • any doors or windows, and their fittings in a boundary wall between a lot and the common property (including garage doors and their fittings)
  • utility infrastructure (like equipment, pipes and wiring) that is on common property, or in a boundary structure, or services more than 1 lot.

The lot owner is generally responsible for:

  • the inside of the lot, including all fixtures and fittings inside the lot
  • doors and windows leading onto a balcony that forms part of the lot
  • a shower tray used by the lot, even if it is not within the boundaries of the lot
  • utility infrastructure (like equipment, pipes and wiring) that is within the boundaries of the lot and only services that lot
  • utility infrastructure (including equipment and associated wiring and pipes) that is on common property, if it only services that lot and is a hot water system, washing machine, clothes dryer, solar panels, air-conditioning systems, television antennae or similar equipment
  • any fixtures or fittings, including on common property, that were installed by the occupier of a lot for their benefit
  • exclusive use areas the owner has the benefit of, unless the exclusive use by-law says otherwise.

What is a Standard Format Plan (SFP)?

A standard format plan (SFP), previously known as a group title plan (GTP), defines land horizontally, using marks on the ground or a structural element of a building (e.g. survey pegs in the ground or the corner of a building).  A community titles scheme registered under standard format plan can include a townhouse complex where each lot has a building and a yard.

The body corporate is usually responsible for maintaining:

  • roads, gardens and lawns on common property
  • facilities on common property (like swimming pools and barbeques)
  • utility infrastructure (like equipment, pipes and wiring) that is on common property, or in a boundary structure, or services more than 1 lot.

The lot owner is generally responsible for:

  • the inside of the building, including all fixtures and fittings (except utility infrastructure that is common property)
  • the outside of the building within their lot boundary, including exterior walls, doors, windows and roof
  • the building foundations
  • all lawns, gardens and driveways inside the boundary of their lot
  • utility infrastructure (like equipment, pipes and wiring) that is inside the boundaries of the lot and only services that lot
  • any fixtures or fittings (including on common property) that were installed by the occupier of a lot for their benefit
  • exclusive use areas the owner has the benefit of, unless the exclusive use by-law says otherwise.

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