PELHAM Lawyers Frequently Asked Questions

Owners Corporations

What is an Owners Corporation?

An Owners Corporation, formerly known as a body corporate, maintains and administers the common property and utility services on a plan of subdivision. Depending on an Owners Corporation’s size, it is either self-managed or by an appointed strata manager.

What does a strata manager do for Owners Corporations?

A strata manager is a professional manager who takes care of the administrative duties of the Owners Corporation such as organising professionals to repair damaged common property (like sewerage for the units), maintain insurance for the building, strike levies and call annual general meetings. A strata manager’s duties are performed pursuant to a formal contract of appointment and their obligations under the Owners Corporations Ac t 2006. A manager has the duty to act in good faith, with due diligence and honestly. These same duties apply to the operation of the Owners Corporation.

What are Owners Corporation disputes?

Owners Corporation disputes are defined as disputes involving any combination of the Owners Corporation, current and previous unit owners, current and previous unit occupants, the strata manager and the Owners Corporation insurer. The Owners Corporations Act 2006 has a prescribed complaints procedure where a dispute arises between one of or a multiple of the aforementioned persons or entities. This requires the complainant to set out their complaint in writing and forward it to the Owners Corporation for determination as to whether it will take further action on behalf of the complainant. If the Owners Corporation determines not to take any further action on a complaint made, the complainant may elect to issue an application to VCAT for determination of the dispute.

Beyond maintaining the common property, what is the Owners Corporation’s duty to its unit owners and occupants?

The Owners Corporation has the duty to ensure that each unit owner and occupant does not use his or her unit in a manner that does not cause a nuisance or unreasonably interfere with other unit owners and occupants.