What is a body corporate?
A body corporate comprises all proprietors (or owners) of unit titled property. There are many types of buildings that are owned as unit titles (unit titles are also sometimes referred to as strata titles).
Unit titled properties can be:
Unit titled properties include:
- high rise and low rise apartments
- terraced housing
- car parking buildings
- retail shops
- industrial units
- commercial offices
How is a body corporate established?
At the time of development, all of the units are recorded on a legal document called a unit plan. When a developer first begins on a unit-titled project, the developer is the legal owner of the land.
A body corporate is established when a developer deposits the plan with District Land Registrar at the Land Information Office. The developer will also have lodged the body corporate rules and a body corporate secretary will have been established.
At the time of development, the body corporate may only consist of one member, the developer. As the units are sold and settled, new proprietors/owners become part of the body corporate.
What are some of the obligations of a body corporate?
The governing legislation for unit titled property is the Unit Titles Act 2010.
All bodies corporate have legal duties and obligations which include:
- Carrying out its duties in accordance with the body corporate rules.
- Insuring all buildings and other improvements on the land to replacement value (including demolition costs and architect’s fees).
- Keeping the common property in a state of good repair.
- Comply with any notice or order duly served on it by any competent local authority or public body requiring repairs or work to be performed on the land or any building or improvements.
- Controlling, managing and administering common property and doing all things necessary to ensure enforcement of the body corporate rules.
- Doing all things reasonably necessary for the enforcement of any lease or licence under which the land is held.
- Establishing and maintaining a fund for administrative expenses sufficient for the control, management, and administration of common property, and for the payment of any insurance premiums, rent, and repairs and the discharge of any other obligations.
- Determining the amount of levies for each proprietor that may need to be raised to maintain the property in proportion to their unit entitlement.