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What is an Owners Corporation?

OC's also known as Body Corporate are responsible for managing the common areas of an apartment complex, block of units or townhouse.

This involves managing repairs, maintenance, the upkeep of all common areas, organising and renewing relevant insurance for the building and managing finances.

They must also provide OC certificates when required, handle complaints maintain OC records and establish a grievance procedure whilst complying with state laws and regulations (Owners Corporation Act)

Have you bought an apartment and unsure what is common property? Common Property includes shared driveways, carparks, foyers, lifts, corridors, gardens, recreational areas like pools, gyms, lounges, and foyers, building infrastructure like centralised hot water systems.

The costs involved with a body corporate depend on the types of amenities your property has. Things like gyms, lifts and pools will cost a lot more in annual body corporate fees then an older style property with none of these amenities. A typical quarterly levy could range from $500 - $3000 but can vary vastly depending on the area, building age, amenities and type of property.

When buying a property with a Body Corporate you will want to make sure you choose an active one. A good way to gauge if you have an active Body Corporate is to see how well the gardens are kept, if gutters, stair, driveways are well maintained and kept in a clean and presentable condition. It is also a good idea to read the meeting minutes to learn of any building defects the property might have.

When buying in Victoria it is always a good idea to read over a property's OC certificate and have a Conveyancer look over it too.

There are dozens of changes to Victoria's Owners Corporations Act that are due to come into effect in December 2021 for more information on these changes read the link below.

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