Do we have to have a Body Corporate manager?

No. It is common for small properties of three or four lots or units to manage themselves. It is recommended that they seek advice on the obligations of a body corporate especially in the areas of insurance of the property and liability insurance.

Properties of ten or more units normally employ a body corporate manager to maintain statutory records, arrange and record annual meetings, administer the common property, arrange repairs and maintenance, pay invoices, maintain proper insurance on the property, prepare a budget, collect the service charges etc. Body Coporate managers must carry professional indemnity at all times while managing property.

What happens if I do not want to be part of the body corporate?

A body corporate is deemed to be formed immediately the plan of subdivision is registered at the Titles Office. Once a person becomes the owner of a lot in the body corporate they immediately become a member of the body corporate and are bound by the Land Subdivision Act. An owner of a lot within the body corporate cannot refuse to abide by the decisions of the body corporate.

How are my fees calculated?

A budget is approved by the body corporate and then each owners proportion of the budget is calculated by the unit liability of the lot as shown on the Plan of subdivision.

How many meetings does the body corporate have?

A body corporate must have one meeting annually and present to the owners a financial statement and balance sheet showing the expenditure for the previous twelve months. This meeting is called the Annual General Meeting and must be held within 15 months of the previous annual general meeting. The AGM will usually elect a committee. The committee may meet as often as it feels necessary or desirable. Occasionally the body corporate may hold a Special meeting

How do I get elected to the Committee?

The committee is elected by vote at the annual general meeting, if four members are elected to the committee and in the course of the year a committee member resigns the committee may ask another owner to fill the position. However if four owners are elected at the annual general meeting and during the year an owner asks to be elected to the committee a general meeting must be called to re elect the entire committee.

Who makes the rules?

The standard rules to govern a body corporate are in place immediately the plan is registered and can be found in the Subdivision (Body Corporate) Regulations 2001. If the body corporate wishes to have Special Rules put in place they must be passed by a special resolution which means 75% of the owners must agree at a general meeting of the owners.

Who makes the budget and what does it cover?

With a brand new body corporate the developer normally has the body corporate manager prepare a budget which is supplied to each owner at settlement.

With an existing body corporate the budget is passed at the Annual General Meeting and depending on the size of the body corporate covers some or all of the following :-

Reinstatement Insurance

Public Liability Insurance

Property Valuation.

Electricity for the common property

Gas for common property




Management Fee

Air conditioning

Fire service

Smoke detectors on common property

Remote control gates

Security equipment

Water supply

Waste collection

Repairs and maintenance

Pool cleaning and chemicals

Gym equipment

Essential Service Report

BAS documentation

Sinking fund.

What does the insurance cover?

A body corporate takes out reinstatement insurance on the building and all common contents. A property valuer will calculate the figure that you should insure. Never guess at the value. The property valuer will take into account the reinstatement cost in todays building market and then allow a percentage for cost escalation. The sum will also include removal of debris, loss of rent or alternative accommodation and architects and surveyors fees.

Then there is public liability which is to cover all the common property and or the lot. If the lots are multi level then the body corporate public liability cover must include all the lots also. Lot owners are encouraged to maintain their own public liability cover within their lot.

If the body corporate employs a person for example as the resident caretaker then the body corporate is obliged to take out Workers Compensation insurance to cover the resident caretaker.

Can I have pets in my unit?

If only the Standard Rules apply to the body corporate you may have animals in your unit. However the committee has the right to vote for the removal of the animals if it is proven that the animals are causing a nuisance. If this occurs you must remove your pet.

If Special Rules are in place then before purchasing a unit ask the body corporate manager if animals are allowed.

What can I do about defects in a new unit?

Each owner should give written notification of defects to the developer and request that they be rectified. They are not a body corporate issue. However, it is always a good idea to copy the body corporate manager in case all owners have similar defects and are not getting any response from the developer.

Can I vote at a meeting if I am in arrears?

An owner cannot vote at any meeting if in arrears unless the body corporate is wanting to pass a resolution that requires a unanimous decision and then that owner in arrears may vote.

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