What is an Owner’s Corporation?
An Owners Corporation manages the common property of a residential, commercial, retail, industrial or mixed-use property development. The common property is defined in your Plan of Subdivision and may include driveways, stairs, paths, passages, lifts, lobbies, common garden areas and other facilities set up for use by all owners and occupiers.
You are likely to be a member of an Owners Corporation if you own a flat, apartment or unit.
An Owners Corporation may be self-managed by the lot owners or professionally managed by an Owners Corporation Manager. If an Owners Corporation chooses to appoint a professional manager, it must be a manager registered with the Business Licensing Authority (BLA).
What is a Plan of Subdivision?
As defined by Consumer Affairs Victoria “An Owners Corporation is automatically created when a plan of subdivision containing common property is registered at Land Victoria. Land Victoria registers and records owners corporation applications received either with a plan subdivision or lodged following registration of the plan of subdivision.”
What is the difference between Lot Entitlement and Lot Liability?
Your plan of subdivision will show your Lot Entitlement and your Lot Liability. Lot Liability represents the share of Owners Corporation expenses that each lot owner is required to pay. Lot Entitlement is an Owners share of ownership of the common property which also determines your voting rights. Prior to purchasing a property in an Owners Corporation, you should ensure the allocation of lot liability and entitlement seems fair and reasonable.
What are Owner’s Corporation Rules?
The Owners corporation rules may deal with matters such as car parking, noise, pets, the appearance or use of lots, behaviour of owners, occupiers or guests and grievance procedures.
You should look at the Owners corporation rules to consider any restrictions imposed by the rules.
How are decisions made by an Owner’s Corporation?
As an owner, you will be required to make financial contributions to the Owners Corporation, in particular for the repair, maintenance and management of the common property. Decisions as to the management of this common property will be the subject of collective decision making. Decisions as to these financial contributions, which may involve significant expenditure will be decided by a vote.
How are disputes resolved?
The grievance procedure applies to disputes involving a lot owner, manager or an occupier of the Owners Corporation. The party making the claim must prepare a written statement in the approved form. If there is a Grievance Committee of the Owners Corporation, it must be notified of the dispute by the complainant. If there is no Grievance Committee, the Owners Corporation must be notified of any dispute by the complainant, regardless of whether the Owners Corporation is an immediate party to the dispute.
The parties to the dispute must meet and discuss the matter along with either the grievance committee or the Owners Corporation within 14 working days after the dispute comes to the attention of all the parties.
A party to the dispute may appoint a person to act or appear on his or her behalf at the meeting. If the dispute is not resolved, the grievance committee or owners corporation must notify each party of his or her rights to take further action under the Owners Corporation Act 2006.
Do I have to be part of the Owner’s Corporation?
If you own property affected by an Owners Corporation then you become a member of that Owners Corporation automatically. As a member, you have legal and financial responsibilities to the Owners Corporation.