Outlining the Obligations of Owners Corporations

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If you are a property owner, you must have heard about owners corporations. Are you wondering if you should become a member and enlist the properties you own in these establishments? Before making a decision, it's essential to know the responsibilities of an owners corporation.

Owners corporation definition

Formerly known as a body corporate, an owners corporation manages the shared or common sections of retail, commercial, mixed-use, or industrial properties. So if you own any of these types of properties, you can be a member of an owners corporation. Common sections managed include some garden areas, bin storage area, driveways and other areas.

Although the law sets the powers and duties of the owners corporation, most property owners don't actually know their responsibilities. Here is a guide that outlines these duties to help you make an informed decision.

Financial accounts

The owners corporation has to raise funds from every property owner to make payments for the maintenance expenses, insurances and other financial obligations. They also need to keep all the records of the transactions as evidence of the raised fees.

Insurance coverage

It's compulsory for the owners corporation to have a strata policy that covers all the common areas of a building. Each building needs to have a separate policy even if there are several properties in the same compound. Usually, the insurance policy is for the replacement value of a structure and legal liability.

Building maintenance

As aforementioned, the corporation has the responsibility to maintain standard property fixtures, areas and services. Common areas of a building may differ depending on design, but some standard areas include gardens, objects or installations, plumbing and other services. In other cases, this may include lifts, fences, hallways, staircases, driveways and walls. To confirm the areas an owners corporation covers, it's advisable to talk to the corporation manager.

Note that the occupiers or tenants can't make alterations to the common properties or areas without getting permission from the corporation.

Disputes and complaints

Should a complaint arise in a tenanted property regarding the incorrect use of a shared area or noise, the owners corporation will notify the property manager. It's the responsibility of the manager to follow through with the tenants and rectify the problem.

Alternatively, if maintained issues occur on common property, the property manager is required to call the owners corporation so the repairs can be done without delays. The manager or property owner cannot do any works on the common property unless authorised by the owners corporation.