We’ve been in the business of Body Corporate Management since 1963 and during those sixty-odd years in the industry, we’ve seen and done it all! So when it comes to body corporate services in Sydney and broader NSW, you’re in very good hands.
What is a Body Corporate?
What’s the difference between Body Corporate and Owners Corporation?
Short answer: nothing. Body Corporate is a slightly more old-school name for an Owners Corporation, so both terms are actually referring to the same thing!
A Body Corporate (or Owners Corporation) is a group of people who are bound together under a Strata Scheme by the joint ownership of property in a building or piece of land. If you buy a unit in an apartment block, for example, you will become a member of that building’s Body Corporate and will share ownership and responsibility for common areas.
It sounds relatively straight-forward but with all sorts of by-laws, compliance requirements, taxes — and other legislation under the Strata Management Act — it can get pretty complicated… which is where a good Body Corporate Management team also called a Strata Management company comes in.
The role of the Body Corporate
The Body Corporate (aka The Owners Corporation) is a legal entity that is there to ensure the day-today affairs and legislative requirements of the property throughout the lifetime of the property. This involves complying with all relevant legislation (including The Strata Schemes Management Act 1996) as well as managing finances and keeping up to date with health & safety requirements.
What is a Body Corporate responsible for?
The Body Corporate is responsible for the management of the common property . This generally refers to maintenance of common property regarding o areas such as driveways, storage lock-ups, gardens, lifts and so on, but what is and isn’t common property can vary under different strata schemes and their subsequent by-laws.
Broadly speaking, Body Corporate responsibilities include (but are not limited to):
- Maintenance of the Strata roll
- Repairs, maintenance or renewal of common property
- Capital works fund and budgeting
- Financial and correspondence records
- Work Health & Safety and Fire Safety compliance
- Building defects
- Approval of renovations
- Owner disputes
Establishing and managing the application of By-Laws
- Strata committee meetings, annual general meetings and elections
- Managing and collecting levies
What powers do Body Corporates have?
What exactly your Body Corporate can control is also subject to your specific strata scheme’s by-laws. Some schemes have provisions about pets, smoking and short-term rental accommodation for example whilst others do not. By-laws can be changed but they must be approved by special resolution at an Body Corporate General Meeting and registered with the NSW Land Registry Services within 6 months.
Can you manage your own Body Corporate?
There’s no legal reason why you can’t manage your own Body Corporate but it can be complicated, time consuming and stressful. Smaller strata schemes (around 6 units or less) are easier to self-manage than larger properties but in both cases it requires exceptional organisational and people management skills as well as time and plenty of patience.
Poorly managed strata schemes can significantly devalue properties and, in severe cases, lead to body corporate bankruptcy. So, it’s within everyone’s interest to make sure that it’s adequately administered. This doesn’t just apply to self-managed strata. If you’re unhappy with your current management, you should seriously consider changing strata managers.
Jamesons Body Corporate Management Services
Whether you call it owners corporation administration, strata management or body corporate services, we’re here to make your life easier.
Over the last six decades, we’ve tried and tested every strata management strategy in the book. We’ve dealt with thousands of lot owners and have liaised with everyone from property developers to struggling first-time Owners Corporation Managers. From community management to dispute resolution, we’ve honed our corporate management services over sixty years. We know what works as well as what doesn’t!
After everything we’ve learnt, our expert advice is that it all boils down to 8 key ingredients.
- Effective management
- Compliance – WHS, fire safety, lift certification, etc.
- Insurance claims and renewals
- Maintenance administration
- Property Administrative
- Contract Management
- Financial & Taxation Management
1. Effective management
This is the holy grail of strata management services. Of all the body corporate manager responsibilities, effective communication and cooperation between the Strata Manager (or Body Corporate Manager) and your Strata/Executive Committee should be priority #1.
Secure the right management team and everything else should fall into place.
2. Compliance – WHS, fire safety, lift certification, etc.
It can seem complicated and rather boring to read but ensuring your building is compliant with current legislation is fundamental to your safety as well as your protection from legal and financial repercussions.
3. Insurance claims and renewals
Again, rather dry to read but absolutely vital in order to protect all owners.
4. Maintenance administration
Budgeting, scheduling and overseeing maintenance & repairs across all common property can be a full time job in itself but, again, it’s paramount for the safety of occupants as well as the protection of your investment.
5. Property administrative
If coordinating between several owner-occupiers wasn’t enough of a challenge, investment and rental properties are often part of the mix too. Liaising with tenants, property managers & real estate agencies to keep everyone on the same page is therefore key.
Scheduling, conducting and keeping records of all Body Corporate meetings is vital. Meetings are your opportunities to discuss important issues and the right management service can help you navigate them efficiently whilst minimising disputes.
7. Contract management
Filing, negotiating and updating contracts takes some experience and know-how but it’s an important part of keeping things on track.
8. Financial & taxation management
Collecting levies and ensuring that all capital projects and maintenance works stay within budget could be the difference between harmony in the building and body corporate bankruptcy!
What do Body Corporate Management services cost in Australia?
Body Corporate Management in Australia can vary greatly from company to company. Some companies providing body corporate services in Sydney charge a flat fee but at Jamesons, we understand that each of our clients have their own specific needs and we tailor our services and pricing accordingly.
For more information, fill in our quick online form and a member of our team will get back to you with a free, no obligation quote.
Talk to Jamesons about Sydney Body Corporate Management services today.
Feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the informational overload? We’ve got you covered.
At Jamesons, we know everything there is to know about Strata, Body Corporate or Owners Corporation Management. Our job is to understand ever-changing legislation and keep up with all compliance issues so that you don’t have to.
So let us make it easy for you. Give one of our nine Sydney and NSW-wide offices a call today and we’ll talk you through it.
Want to know more? Check out the FAQs below!
Is Strata the same thing as Body Corporate and Owners Corporation?
Body Corporate and Owners Corporation are different terms for the same thing — a group of people who share ownership of the land on which their properties are built.
Meanwhile, Strata Title refers to the ‘lot’ a person acquires when they buy a property which shares land with other properties. These titles ensure that the owners share a proportion of the land and common areas in the building. Combined, these Strata Titles make up the Strata Scheme.
It’s worth noting that despite these technical distinctions, many people use the terms Strata, Body Corporate and Owners Corporation interchangeably.
Is an Owners Corporation or Body Corporate a legal entity?
Yes, a Body Corporate is a legal entity that combines all title or lot owners in a Strata Scheme.
Do you have to pay council rates and Body Corporate fees?
Yes, you do. Body Corporate fees do not generally cover council rates but it is always worth double checking your strata scheme’s by-laws just in case.
Do Owners Corporation and Body Corporate fees include insurance?
Body Corporate fees should cover a broad range of insurance types including public liability. However, it doesn’t usually cover contents insurance for personal belongings. It’s always worth checking the by-laws of your strata scheme to make sure all owners understand which types of insurance are included in the fees.
Does a Body Corporate have the power to evict tenants?
No, the Body Corporate does not have the authority to evict a tenant in the building. According to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, the appropriate landlord or agent must be granted a termination order by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal in order to evict a tenant.
Do tenants pay Body Corporate fees?
No, tenants do not pay Body Corporate fees. These fees are to be paid by the Strata Title owner only. However, the owner can factor these costs into their calculations when determining how much to charge for rent.
Can I claim Body Corporate fees on tax?
You can claim Body Corporate fees on tax if the lot in question is an investment or rental property. Owner occupiers cannot claim Body Corporate fees on tax.