Body Corporate - An introduction for unit owners
The Unit Titles Act 2010 is the law governing building developments where multiple owners hold a type of property ownership known as a unit title.
When you purchase a unit, you automatically become a member of the body corporate. All unit owners in a Unit Title development make up the body corporate. The body corporate is responsible for a range of management, financial and administrative matters relating to the common property and the Unit Title development as a whole. Essentially, if you are a unit owner, then you are also a member of the body corporate as a collective. Every Unit Title development has a body corporate, whether or not it is functional.
Usually a body corporate Manager is contracted to perform some of the services of the body corporate on behalf of the unit owners. This is the role of your administrator, Property Managers Body Corporate.
The body corporate is responsible for maintaining the common property in the development as well as building elements and infrastructure that relate to or serve more than one unit. The body corporate must also maintain any other assets it owns or that are designed for use in connection with common property. Most of the time, all owners share the cost of repairing and maintaining common property through the body corporate levy.
Maintenance and repair of the interior of a unit is the responsibility of the unit owner(s). In some instances, especially in developments with detached units, owners might also be responsible for maintenance and repair of the exterior of units and exclusive use areas. A unit owner must maintain their unit in a way that doesn’t have the potential to cause damage or harm to any common property, building element, infrastructure or other unit.
In addition to necessary repairs and maintenance, a unit owner can make alterations, additions or improvements to their unit, as long as they are within the unit boundary and don’t materially affect the common property or other units and comply with body corporate rules, for example obtaining building consents. If a unit owner wants to do any alterations or additions that will materially affect other units or common property, they must get written consent from affected owners and/or the body corporate.
We understand that purchasing a new property that is part of a body corporate can be both exciting and stressful and particularly with a new development there can be some confusion as to who to approach for guidance. We are here to help you to look after your investment, to guide you through the complexities of being a member of a body corporate.