What Is A Body Corporate And How Does It Help You?

What Is A Body Corporate And How Does It Help You?

With so many people living in apartments, townhouses, or on blocks of multiple units these days, there is no doubt that the concept of residing in high-density estates and multiple dwellings is something that is becoming a more and more prevalent feature within our housing market. 

With the prospect of housing becoming more and more expensive, sharing communal areas can help when one wants to consider downsizing or being able to share certain costs. 

Therefore, while you may think of it as a collective group of residents making decisions about what suits all, you may also be thinking about what a body corporate is and how body corporate services can assist you and others. 

Hence, including what is covered within the communal areas, to their role in managing the dwellings, from sales with real estate to your fees.

Let me guide you on how your owners’ corporation can help you with your residence and your strata title.

What exactly is it?

Being in an owner’s corporation or, what was formerly more commonly known as a body corporate is the legal entity that manages property that is subdivided, whether it is for residential purposes, commercial, or mixed-use.

They provide a range of body corporate services, such as the budget for your real estate agent if there are potential sales within the block, and this is regardless of whether it is a residential or commercial development. If you are in an owner’s corporation, the strata title is the same thing. 

To put it simply, if you own your house in a mixed dwelling, you own the lot your house or apartment sits on, not the driveway you drive up in the morning. 

Fees and what they can and are responsible to cover

Your owners’ corporation sets out the strata title for the block. This covers all the fees and rules that are relative to managing and administering the communal areas of the said development. 

As part of being in the subdivision, the assigned entity is responsible for helping you with things such as obtaining suitable fees to cover maintenance and repairs of common areas, such as the main driveway area, the common garden spaces, and, if installed, a pool area. 

This can also be that of taking out and maintaining building insurance for the lots. 

Any annual increase in the fees is taken into consideration to meet financial necessities as well as to conserve a liveable common space for the residents of each of the lots. 

Deals with safety compliance

One of the major factors that your owner’s corporation must do is to meet safety requirements for those who reside amongst the development and put measures in place which protect that. 

This can include obtaining a building insurance quote that covers fire damage if the block is on land that has a high risk or could be within a range open to bushfire. 

This can also extend to arranging trades when communal repairs are required around the building or the block, as well as the collection of invoices for those repairs that are undertaken. 

Role custodian and interpersonal relations

Your owners’ corporation and strata management, like any other business sector, is required to keep track and record those such as meetings, and other interpersonal relations. 

These include those such as knowing the number and address of each tenant in the living complex and the contact of each relevant owner. 

This also involves laying out the respective rules and regulations for the complex to sustain peaceful strata living. 

This is usually collected through social groups to discuss feedback on living arrangements and to see if any grievances or disputes need to be addressed.

Handling of Complaints

While we’re on the subject, your strata management is also part of responsibly taking into account any of these grievances or disputes and making sure that they are resolved to a preferred outcome for all parties involved. 

This can often be brought to attention by the strata committee, and the best result is to have the dispute resolved internally. 

However, if the disagreement is not handled or it requires further action, you can seek out a formal complaint made in writing. 

If this is then not resolved within 28 days, you can submit it to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Of course, no one wishes for problems to get to this stage as the wish is for amicable living that can be managed cordially and easily with open communication. However, your owners’ corporation can help you set these steps in place if necessary. 

Conclusion

Therefore, when it comes to your owners’ corporation and how they are part of making a cohesive existence for all, it comes down to making sure that the management of the complex is a smooth, stress-free one, and that all matters are handled with care.