Ins and outs of body corps

May 28, 2024

The difference between strata titles and body corp, including levies or fees, can be confusing.

But for property owners, it’s crucial to understand the concepts.

 

What is a strata title?

A strata-titled area is a complex or building comprising townhouses, units or apartments.

However, detached houses in an estate can also be strata-titled.

When you buy such a dwelling, they own part of the strata title and thus share ownership of all common details such as pools, gyms, gardens, lifts, stairways and other joint areas.

You are also responsible for, and must pay a part of, general maintenance costs in these areas.

Also under the banner of common areas are the private outdoor areas of a property owners’ lot including courtyards, gardens, fences and balconies.

In this way, property owners can profit as they share the expenses of maintaining or updating these areas with other owners.

However, in a vice-versa situation, the same is also true.

 

What is body corp?

Every property owner in a strata-titled scheme is part of the body corp.

The body corp must have a Community Management Scheme, comprising its by-laws, which every resident must abide by.

Except for very small complexes or buildings, all body corps must also have a committee or team.

This committee is comprised of several property owners, who are voted for by other owners in an Annual General Meeting, or they can be self-nominated.

The committee acts on behalf of the body corp, deals with day-to-day and executive body issues, and ensures lawful decisions become a reality.

 

What do body corp levies cover?

Administration funds including building insurance, on-site property managers and strata manager companies and, sinking funds for major, or long-term repairs such as driveway maintenance.

These levies are usually paid quarterly and for property investors, may make a great tax claim.

But be aware that such levies can add up fast when complexes are large or have inclusions such as a pool and lifts requiring much higher maintenance.

It’s also important to note who is responsible for what, because living in or owning strata-titled properties may be confusing.

There can also be disagreements between property owners about what should and shouldn’t be maintained or repaired, including the costs involved.

In an ideal world, this system works, and pays, together for everyone’s good in a large community.

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