Strata Solutions: A Guide to Body Corporates

 

A body corporate is essentially a managing body that looks after common areas in multi-unit developments. Whether you own your own home or you have an investment property in one of these developments, it’s likely that you will have had some interaction with body corporates in the past. From driveways to stairwells, lawns, gyms, pools, and other common areas of your building, there are many different things that body corporates are responsible for.

Every property owner in a multi-unit development is a part of the body corporate by default. These owners must also elect a secretary, chairperson, and treasurer for the body corporate. Together, the body corporate will decide how much each owner must pay in body corporate fees to maintain the common areas of the property. In some cases, a strata manager, who will be responsible for a block of properties, may also be involved in the process. Hiring a strata manager is a popular choice and while you will want to ensure that you get the right person for the job from the outset, if your strata management is not working out well, you can easily find out how to change strata managers, if needs be.

Continue reading to learn more about body corporates and what they do.

Forming The Body Corporate Committee

The body corporate committee will typically be elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). A committee is usually elected by secret ballot to ensure fairness unless the body corporate decides beforehand to conduct the election by open ballot. As mentioned already the three key positions that will need to be filled are secretary, treasurer, and chairperson. While these are all important positions, having a good chairperson is essential for anybody corporate to be effective. They should be fair, be willing to learn and understand the complexities of the property and consider the needs of all of the members without judgment or bias.

Introduction To Body Corporate Fees

Cutting the lawn, cleaning the stairwell, carrying out driveway repairs, and maintaining all of the other common areas of your development doesn’t come cheap. To pay for the upkeep of the common areas in your complex, property owners need to pay body corporate fees. In Australia, there are three primary types of body corporate fees. First, there is the administration levy, which covers the running of the complex from day to day. Next, there is the general-purpose sinking fund levy that is used to cover non-routine expenses such as renovation work, repainting, or fixing damage to the roof. Finally, there is a special purpose levy, which is always a one-off fee that owners pay for major works to the property such as a new driveway or building a new car shelter.

What Do Body Corporate Fees Not Cover?

Body corporate fees cover regular maintenance and upkeep of common areas, as well as repairs and insurance for buildings and common areas. However, while these fees cover a lot, there are also many things that they do not cover. For example, body corporate fees do not cover contents insurance for your belongings nor do they cover council rates for your property or utilities, unless there is a shared meter. They also do not cover repairs, maintenance, or repairs to your private property such as fixing plumbing issues in your home or installing a new heating system.

Learn About Body Corporates So You Know Where You Stand

Body corporates can be confusing at first, however, it’s important that you know what they do, how they work, and what the body corporate fees that you have to pay do and don’t cover. With a better understanding of body corporates, you will be in a better position when it comes to managing and maintaining your property and the area that you live, both now and in the future.

 

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