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I am looking at a property which has an owners corporation, what does this mean?

Property Law: 29 February 2024

Author: Lauren Woolley & Ralph Davies - Our People

If you decide to purchase a flat, apartment or unit, you most likely will become a member of an ‘owners corporation’. This is because these properties generally share access to common property or utilities/services.

An owners corporation is a legal entity, and members of the owners corporation, are entitled to vote on any decisions.

The primary responsibility of an owners corporation is generally the management and maintenance of common property. Examples of common property includes communal passages, stairs, lifts, pools, foyers or driveways. The costs of managing and maintaining the common property are funded through special fees payable by the owners/members of the owners corporation each year (generally payable on a quarterly basis). These fees are known as annual owners corporation fees, levies or charges.

Furthermore, most owners corporations require all members (or their tenants or guests) to adhere to certain rules. These rules could include limitations to renovations to your property (including the location of hot water or air conditioning units), pet ownership and noise level and most rules may extend to the use of common property.

Therefore, when considering whether to purchase a unit, apartment or flat, take care to review the owners corporation certificate included in the Section 32 Vendor Statement and any owners corporation rules.

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