What Is An Owners Corporation?
An owners corporation (also known as a body corporate or strata plan) is a legal entity and community combined of individual lots and common property as set out in a plan of subdivision.
Individual lots (or dwellings) can be commercial factories, shops, or warehouses, townhouses, units, apartments or even a combination of these, and are independently owned by each lot owner. The common property is owned by the owners corporation and may include driveways, paths, lifts, stairs, gardens and other facilities shared by owners and occupiers.
Each individual lot owner automatically becomes a member of an owners corporation once they purchase a lot within the owners corporation. Lot owners also own a proportionate share of the common property until their lot is sold, and then the ownership is passed onto the new purchaser.
What Is An Owners Corporation Responsible For?
Owners corporations primarily have a legal obligation to oversee and manage all the infrastructure and shared facilities within the common areas. In addition to this, the owners corporation must manage the strata insurance renewal, finances and documents relating to the accounts required to regulate the maintenance of the common property and community.
An owners corporation can engage a manager to provide expertise and manage the responsibilities of the owners corporation.
Owners corporations can also appoint a committee to make decisions on behalf of the owners corporation.
What Is A Committee And What Do They Do?
A committee is formed and appointed at an annual general meeting. A committee is compulsory if the owners corporation has 13 or more lots, and optional if there are less than 13 lots. Once the committee is appointed, one committee member will be chairperson of the committee.
Any lot owner can nominate themselves or be appointed as a committee member or chairperson of the owners corporation.
A committee is responsible for the day-to-day decision-making on behalf of the owners corporation. Such decisions may include the insurance renewal and review of alternative quotations, requests from owners and/or residents for changes to the external appearance of their lot (such as installation of air-conditioning units), and the appointment of a contractor for the maintenance of common property.