Are you planning to buy an apartment, a unit or a townhouse? If so, you might be confused between a strata title vs body corporate. These are widely used terms in the property industry and many people often get confused between the two.
There are a number of things you should consider and understand if you want to know the difference between strata title vs body corporate. However, before doing that, let’s take a look at what these terms are.
When you buy a unit, a townhouse, or an apartment, you also buy a part of strata title. It means that by purchasing an individual lot, i.e., a unit, townhouse, or an apartment, you will also be owning a part of the whole building, along with some common areas, such as gym, pool, lifts, garden, lobbies, entrances, car parks, and other facilities.
Although you are responsible for your own unit or apartment, under the strata title, the upkeep and maintenance of common areas will be the collective responsibility of all the lot owners, including you. Due to the involvement of so many individuals, it often gets heated and confusing. This is why there is a body corporate.
Also called an owner’s corporation. A body corporate or owner’s corporation works under the regulations and laws. Its core responsibility is to look after the maintenance and management of common areas in the building.
In fact, it’s up to them to decide whether to form a strata management team for the management of building on the owner’s behalf or select someone from an executive committee who wants to do the work voluntarily. So, the main difference between a strata title vs body corporate is that of ownership and legal responsibility.
The owner’s corporation or body corporate is responsible to take care of a number of issues related to an internal and external structure of the common area. It also tackles and resolves the issues that arise among the lot owners.
For example, if a person has issues with the general behaviour of their neighbour, the complaint goes straight to the owner’s corporation. Similarly, if any issue related to car parking or noise is experienced by a lot owner, he or she can take the matter to the body corporate. Any decision regarding these matters is made in a general or committee meeting in the presence of lot owners.
Strata Title vs Body Corporate – Rules and Regulations
To better understand the concept of a strata title vs body corporate, you should understand the rules and regulations from the perspective of the owner’s corporation and also as a lot owner.
The responsibilities of a lot owner include:
- Getting a correct insurance for the lot. However, it will only be a content insurance, because the lot is insured under the insurance agreement of a building
- Abiding by all the by-laws laid out by the body corporate
- Attending general meetings; participate via proxy in case of absence from the meeting. You can nominate a committee member to be your representative or choose a family member as a proxy
- Letting the body corporate know if or when there is a change in ownership. In case of a tenanted lot, you should notify them when a tenant changes.
- Making payment of all the levies in accordance with a schedule and without delay. Levies normally include the repair and maintenance cost and a part of it goes into the sinking fund for coverage of any extraordinary expenditure.
When understanding the concept of a strata title vs body corporate, the body corporate is responsible for the following:
- Maintaining the rules and regulations laid out by the state legislation
- Taking care of the administrative tasks, finances and other funds, and also the insurance
- Taking responsibility for the repair and maintenance of common areas without causing any delay or inconvenience to the lot owners
- Maintaining proper records of all the documents, including the register of committee members and lot owners, budget cost, financial records, and minutes of the meeting
- Making sure all the documents are available for lot owners
- Resolving any issues that arise among lot owners (in the light of by-laws)
To get further clarification on the concept of strata title vs body corporate, strata title gives certain rights to a lot owner. For instance, it enables you to live peacefully in your lot, meaning all lot owners are required to honour the by-laws and be respectful of one another.