Regulations of the Owners Corporation

01/10/2010

When you buy strata title property you automatically become a member of the Owners Corporation (or the Body Corporate).

The Owners Corporation has regulations, known as ‘by-laws’, which owners and occupiers must abide by.

By-laws relate to things like the behaviour of residents, and how common property may be used. For example, they might set out how garbage is to be disposed of, whether pets are allowed, parking restrictions, and landscaping guidelines. By-laws are enforceable by law.

All members (owners) are required to pay levies to the Owners Corporation, known as the ‘sinking fund’, to cover maintenance and repairs of common property.

The Owners Corporation meets at least once a year for an Annual General Meeting (AGM). There are specific rules for how these meetings must be carried out, and how owners can put motions on the agenda for discussion and voting. Minutes must be taken, and a copy of the financial statements for the year (ie. what money was received and spent) provided.

An Executive Committee (EC) is appointed at the AGM, which typically includes a Chairperson to preside over meetings, a Secretary to take minutes, and a Treasurer. The EC oversees the day-to-day administrative issues that don’t require owner involvement, such as organising the repair of a broken lift.

Often though, a Strata Managing Agent is appointed (particularly when there are many owners), who acts as the Chairperson, and looks after the accounting, compliance and legal side of things for the Owners Corporation.

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be called if there is something specific to discuss and vote on before the next AGM. For example, an owner may wish to propose having a by-law amended or added, or to renovate their unit, requiring the permission of the Owners Corporation.

Watson and Watson strata lawyers can assist owners, Strata managers and Executive Committees to understand the law and resolve Owners Corporation disputes. We can advice you about compliance issues, such as regulations regarding AGM’s and EGM’s.

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