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Owners Corporations Information

What is an Owners Corporation?

An Owners Corporation comprises the owners of the group of lots bound by a Strata Title. Owners Corporations have designated and legislated functions and powers including:

  • arranging the repair and maintenance of common property
  • managing and administering the common property
  • to take out, maintain and pay premiums on insurance required or permitted
  • to take any action necessary to ensure the Regulations and the rules of the Owners Corporation are complied with.

Depending on the structure of the Owners Corporation and the number of units there may be a committee of management.

The Owners Corporation comes under the control and jurisdiction of the Owners Corporations Act 2006 and Owners Corporation Regulations which came into force at the end of December 2007 DR Strata Management are well aware of the regulations and would be pleased to give advice if required

What is a prescribed Owners Corporation?

The Owners Corporations Act 2006 provides for Owners Corporations and Prescribed Owners Corporations. A Prescribed Owners Corporation is one where the Levies and annual fees are in excess of $200,000 or has more than 100 lots.

Prescribed Owners Corporations are obligated to more stringent requirements prescribed by the Act. (including (but not limited to) mandatory auditing and mandatory Maintenance Plans)

If you would like more information about things to consider when buying a unit of flat that is part of a Owners Corporation please click here to access a useful PDF brochure prepared by ‘Consumer Affairs Victoria’.

What, or who, are Owners Corporation Managers?

Owners Corporation Managers (also known as strata and community title managers in other States) are professional men and women responsible for the administration of Owners Corporations and charged with a responsibility to assist the Owners Corporation to maintain buildings and common areas within strata titled or community titled scheme.

Managers are specialists in their field, possessing the knowledge and skill to administer the Owners Corporation in accordance with the complex requirements of the particular state-based legislation to achieve consensus in decision making and to otherwise assist lot owners by assuming onerous responsibilities.

Their functions are not those of real estate agents or resident managers. Owners Corporation Managers are involved in coordinating the affairs of unit/lot owners including conducting meetings, collecting and banking levies, arranging property maintenance, advising on asset management, placing insurance and keeping financial accounts.

What does DR Strata Management do?

DR Strata Management carry out all functions in accordance with the Management Agreement entered into with the Owners Corporation and DR Strata Management (copies available on request).

DR Strata Management is appointed to work with the Owners Corporation and act as manager of the Owners Corporation carrying out all aspects including:

  • carry out general secretarial duties on behalf of the Owners Corporation
  • arranging and administering insurance placement (where Australian Financial Services Licences and Authorisations permit)
  • administering insurance claims on behalf of the Owners Corporation (where Australian Financial Services Licences and Authorisations permit)
  • obtain insurance valuations where required
  • arranging Owners Corporation maintenance at the direction of the Owners Corporation
  • obtain appropriate quotations for works when directed
  • payment of all invoices
  • advising on Owners Corporation Rules
  • organising, attendance and administering the required Owners Corporation meetings including the preparation and distribution of notices, agendas and minutes
  • maintaining a Owners Corporation roll
  • preparation and distribution of budgets for the Owners Corporation
  • maintaining and reporting on the Owners Corporation accounts
  • preparation and distribution of contribution notices
  • collecting Owners Corporation contributions and levies
  • attend to and collect delinquent owners contributions
  • providing advice and assisting so that the Owners Corporation meets the requirements of the Owners Corporations Act 2006.
  • advise the Owners Corporation on matters relating to the owners Corporation obligations regards Occupational Health and Safety
  • compile and maintain Owners Corporation Register
  • compile and maintain Owners List
  • prepare and supply Owners Corporation Certificates when required.

Owners Corporations can be self-managing, that is, the owners of the property can choose to fulfil these responsibilities themselves. While this is their right many Owners Corporations seek professional help to manage what is often a complex business that their busy members are unable to perform.

What fees can the Owners Corporation charge?

A Owners Corporation sets fees to cover general administration and maintenance, insurance and other ongoing costs.

A Owners Corporation can also levy special fees or charges to cover extraordinary items of expenditure. If the amount proposed is more than twice the amount of the annual fees, it must be approved by a special resolution (75% agreement of all members).

If a member does not pay the fees or levies, the member loses the right to participate in some decisions of the Owners Corporation. The member is still entitled to attend meetings of the Owners Corporation, but can only vote where a special resolution or unanimous resolution is required.

The Owners Corporation can also sue members or other people to recover debts. The Owners Corporation may also charge penalty interest on money owed by members.

How are the Owners Corporation fees calculated?

Owners Corporation contributions to Owners Corporation costs are calculated in accordance with the lot liability as set out by the surveyor of the property when the strata plan was created. (see Hints and Tips)

When do I pay my fees?

In accordance with Owners Corporation Regulations an owner is required to contribute to the Owners Corporation, in order to meet expenses involved with the insurances, public lighting, maintenance and repairs to common areas, general administration, etc. Accounts for these contributions are issued prior to the due date. Visit the ‘Our Services’ page to see how DR Strata Management can assist you to make your payments conveniently.

What is a levy?

A levy is an extra cost imposed to cover a non-budgeted, special and additional extra maintenance costs on the Owners Corporation. A full explanation of the cost and how it was determined is advised at time of levy.

Where can I get a copy of the plan of subdivision?

You can obtain a copy of the plan of subdivision from the: Land Registry, Land Victoria, 570 Bourke Street Melbourne (www.land.vic.gov.au) or your local council.

Where are my property boundaries?

This varies greatly depending on the strata development and should always be checked against the Strata Plan.

Owners or managing agents should check with their appointed Owners Corporation manager when maintenance on the outside of individual units is required as it may be the responsibility of, or come under the control of, the Owners Corporation.

What are Owners Corporation Rules?

The owners Corporation may make rules for the purpose of the control, management, administration, use or enjoyment of the common property or of a lot. (The Rules have no affect are unenforceable unless properly registered)

If the owners corporation does not make any then the model rules (Owners Corporations Regulations 2007 SCHEDULE 2) apply.

If the model rules provide for a matter and the rules of the owners corporation do not provide for that matter, the model rules relating to that matter are deemed to be included in the rules of the owners corporation.

 To access a copy of the Model Rules click here

You should check with your Owners Corporations Manager as to wether Special Rules apply to your Owners Corporation

What if I have a problem with my neigbour or Owners Corporation?

The Owners Corporation Regulations now include a dispute resolution process

If your Owners Corporation does not have a registered resolution process then Rule 6 (of the Model Rules for an Owners Corporation) Dispute Resolution come into play

To access a copy of the Model Rules click here

To access a copy of the approved form for Dispute Resolution click here

Note The dispute resolution procedures only relates to the breaking of Owners Corporation rules or contravention of the Owners Corporations Act. (the ultimate arbiter is VCAT)  

What are the owners’ obligations?

Living in a property which is part of a Owners Corporation can be a wonderful and rewarding lifestyle – and a lifestyle which is the choice for an increasing number of people.

The rewards, however, also bring responsibilities as owners must agree to work cooperatively for their common good. Sometimes, if consensus cannot be reached, an individual owner must accept a decision of the Owners Corporation with which they do not personally agree. This is all part of owning property ‘in common’ and to sharing responsibility for decision making.

Click here to download a brochure from Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) about issues you should be aware of when purchasing a property which is part of a Owners Corporation - it includes useful information about an owners’ rights and responsibilities.

DR Strata Management works with members to make sure their Owners Corporations work effectively.

The owners, as members of the Owners Corporation, are required to:

  • notify the Owners Corporation of any changes in ownership
  • keep any tenants advised and aware of Owners Corporation rules and requirements
  • keep their properties/lots in good repair
  • not permit or use or neglect the common property that may be to its detriment
  • pay any fees set by the Owners Corporation
  • comply with the rules of the Owners Corporation

What’s covered by the Owners Corporation insurance?

DR Strata Management manager are authorised representative of CHU Underwriting Agencies Pty Ltd and Consolidated Insurance Agencies Pty Ltd for the transaction of strata insurance products and as such is qualified to give general advice about insurance offered by them only. Australian Financial Cervices Licences and Authorisations Licence Number 243261 Rep No 269111 and Licence No 245584 Rep No 269111

Owners should refer to the specific policy for exclusions and conditions. If DR Strata Management is already your manager and you require a copy of the product disclosure statement please contact your Owners Corporation Manager or your insurer.

Will our money be safe?

DR Strata Management follows industry best practice to ensure your funds are secure. The firm’s sophisticated accounting software provides detailed reporting of your Owners Corporation transactions and, of course, DR Strata Management carries full professional indemnity insurance – for your protection.

Where can I obtain a copy of the Act & Regulations?

The Subdivision Act 1988 and the Owners Corporations Act 2006 and relevant regulations pertaining thereto and Subdivision (Owners Corporation) Regulations 2001 are available from:

  • Information Victoria, located at 356 Collins Street, Melbourne, phone 1300 366 356
  • or order online at www.bookshop.vic.gov.au (hard copies)
  • Visit the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website at www.dms.dpc.vic.gov.au.
 
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