An Owners Corporation (OC), formerly known as Body Corporate, is a legal entity which is created when subdivided land containing a shared area (common property) or facility is registered with state Land Registries. This is typically seen in larger scale subdivisions with mixed residential and commercial uses. More than one Owners Corporation can be created. If the property is a unit or apartment it is likely to be affected by an Owners Corporation.
Once you become the registered owner of a property affected by an Owner’s Corporation, you automatically become a member, or “Lot Owner”, of the Owner’s Corporation. As a Lot Owner, you will have legal obligations to abide by the Owners Corporation Model Rules regarding the use of the common areas. There are also additional ongoing fees related to the Owners Corporation Maintenance, which typically cover the management of the Owners Corporation and building repairs.
Owners Corporation Responsibilities
An Owners Corporation can appoint a manager to assist with the required responsibilities. According to Section 4 of the Owners Corporation Act 2006, these responsibilities can include:
- Manage and administer the common property
- Organise repairs and maintenance of the common property when required
- Obtain and maintain insurance over the building and common property
Common properties are shown in the Plan of Subdivision found in a Contract of Sale. These properties are not owned by a single person – they are jointly owned and shared between all lot owners. Some examples include:
- Passages, walls, and pathways
- Garden areas
- Stairs, elevators, and lobbies
- Swimming pools and gymnasiums
- Storage areas
- Meeting rooms
Legal advice is often necessary for properties affected by an Owners Corporation. At W Legal Group, we provide high standards of service to assist with your property transaction. We are qualified and experienced professionals who can help you through to a smooth settlement and would be happy to guide you through your purchase.