Who is the Owners Corporation?

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Owners Corporation

First things first, let us define a couple of terms that will help us understand better what an owners’ corporation is and what it does.

  1. A strata scheme refers to a building or group of buildings subdivided into what are referred to as ‘lots.’ The lots may be individual houses, apartments, office units, townhouses, or homes. You become a member of the strata scheme by buying into any of these lots. As a member of a strata scheme, you own your lot individually and the common property in association with your fellow lot buyers.
  2. Common property. In the context of a strata scheme, common property refers to all the areas of building or land that are not part of your lot. Your individual strata plan will define what you own alone and in commonality with other lot holders.

You are responsible for the maintenance of the common property together with your co-owners.

The common property serves other lot owners as well as yourself and includes:

  • Access ways, e.g., lobbies, lifts, staircases, hallways, and ramps.
  • Boundary walls and any structures therein, like doors and windows.
  • Plumbing and electrical wiring within the common property or that serves more than one lot.
  • Shared amenities like swimming pools, sports facilities, and laundry facilities. 

The Owners Corporation

An owners’ corporation creates the law and comes into existence the moment a subdivision plan contains common property. It may be referred to as strata corporations, body corporates, corporates, and strata companies. 

When you are a member of a strata scheme, you automatically become part of the owners’ corporation, which combines all the lot owners in the scheme. However, tenants cannot become members of the corporation.

The chief responsibility of the owners’ corporation is to regulate the various interests of the lots and the lot holders. It creates rules binding to all the lot holders as long as they do not contravene any statutory laws or the scheme’s governing regulations.  

An owners’ corporation has a legal personality; you can sue it or be sued even though you are its member.

Duties of the owners’ corporation

The law places the following duties on the owners’ corporation:

  • Maintain in good repair all common property, including any structures on the land.
  • Administer the finances by collecting levies and meeting necessary expenses. 
  • The owners’ corporation must insure the entire property for the total value of a replacement.
  • Conduct the secretarial business of the strata scheme, including correspondences, conducting and keeping minutes of group meetings.
  • Resolve disputes among the strata scheme members.

Owners Corporation Management

The members of an owners’ corporation have the right to participate in its management and according to its rules. During the AGM, members of the owners’ corporation can elect a committee of management that carries out the roles of the corporation or hires a strata manager.

Owners corporation management services

Dedicated professionals provide these services with experience in managing various aspects of strata schemes. Strata managers contractually undertake the scheme management according to the vision and goals of the owners’ corporation.

Strata management services offer several benefits in managing your scheme for you.

The laws and rules governing strata schemes are complex and ever-changing. Professional strata managers make an effort to keep abreast of all these laws. They are in an excellent position to advise your owners’ corporation.

Strata managers are often knowledgeable in various aspects of strata schemes. They understand the laws and the economics of the schemes and the financial and administrative aspects. A professional strata manager is best placed to make sure your scheme thrives.

An owners’ corporation offers better opportunities for the enjoyment of your property. The best way to exploit these opportunities is with the help of the knowledge and experience of professional owner’s corporation management services.