Think of the structure of a strata. In essence, it is a singular development, for example, an apartment building, where multiple people, or lot owners, attain ownership of individual units, like a singular flat, while jointly possessing the common property like lifts, corridors, communal gyms and parking garages. When you buy into such a property, you become a member of an Owners’ Corporation.
Therefore, an Owners’ Corporation is a group of all the lot owners within a given strata. It is established as soon as the strata scheme is registered at the Land Registry Office. Typically, this action is carried out by the developer, who becomes the de-facto sole lot owner and Owners’ Corporation member until sales of the units have been finalized.
What is its purpose?
An Owners’ Corporation is established primarily to oversee the strata’s operation. It is a property ownership model that seeks to close the gap between managing individual lots versus the common property. If you think about it, without a dedicated management body, lot owners would not always look beyond their specific unit, thus risking the high probability of the shared spaces falling into disrepair since no one is likely to take express responsibility for fixing them. Therefore, the Body Corporate is vital for the success of a living community.
The oversight mentioned above is far from a passive role. Every aspect of running a strata requires diligence. Consequently, the are many responsibilities that fall to the Owners’ Corporation to execute, including:
- Keeping a strata roll- a list of all the owners, including their contact information-. It must always be up to date.
- Ensuring that proper maintenance of the common property is carried out by engaging the services of relevant contractors and technicians.
- Initiating, facilitating, and overseeing repairs.
- Creating the by-laws that govern the property and enforcing them.
- Setting and reviewing operational budgets.
- Managing the strata’s fiscal resources, including bank accounts.
- Keeping accurate financial records.
- Taking charge of official correspondence and maintaining a record of them.
- Ensuring the strata’s legislative, fire, and Work Health & Safety compliance.
- Setting and collecting levies and dues.
- Certifying that the strata has adequate insurance coverage.
- Settling owner disputes.
- Scheduling general and committee meetings, then keeping a record of the proceedings.
- Managing the Capital Works Fund.
Owners’ Corporation membership is considered to be a volunteer position. So you don’t get paid to perform any of the above duties. But, conversely, most, if not all, members have no experience running a strata. Therefore, it is not easy to do what is required. Moreover, it can also be just as nerve-wracking to navigate legislative compliance, especially with ever-changing laws. So to mitigate the hardships of managing a strata without the relevant know-how, most Body Corporates turn to professionals who specialize in strata management.
Do not underestimate the value of having an expert to oversee your strata. Therefore, you should consider that Owners’ Corporation management for your Brisbane property is the key to ensuring your living community’s success.
Interesting Related Article: “Corporation tax & definition and meaning“