I have purchased a unit, which is one of three.
The developer had already arranged body corporate insurance that covers the buildings and also public liability.
My question is, whose responsibility is it to set up a 'body corporate' with the other two owners to care for the common property? Is it the developers responsibility, or is it my responsibility?
Is it possible to arrange BC insurance without setting up a 'body corporate, as I suspect the developer has?
Finally, do people manage BC's themselves or pay a BC Organisation to administer the BC? What are other peoples experiences and preferences?
If you have a strata unit, and you should know from your recent purchase, then there MUST be a Body Corporate (known by different names in some States).
It is the legal requirement for the body corporate to have adequate insurances for the whole development and the premiums are paid for by the levies you pay to the BC. The value of the building must be assessed by a registered valuer and updated each five years.
If the developer has recently sold the three units as a strata deveopment, then he/she is required to call a meeting usually within 28 days of the first sale, of the members of the BC for the establishment of the BC. Most developers organise this in advance of sales.
As the Developer, even though he may be the owner of the majority of the remaining units until sold, his vote is reduced to one third so as not to over rule the later and subsequent majority on the BC.
If the unit is a separate title, and that seems to me to be unlikely, then you are advised to arrange you own insurance, but in any event consider insurance for the internal component of the unit.
Yes, you as a group of three, may manage your own BC. You do not need to engage the services of a licenced Strata Manager. As they are professional, they are often better set up to handle problemss etc., but part of this forum is to educate all of us and there is no reason that in a small group you cannot handle it yourself.
Things may be a bit different north of the border, but us Mexicans do things this way:
(For the full Act, go to http://www.dms.dpc.vic.gov.au/
the Regulations are also online but you may have to search through Google to find them)
Ross, I am intrigued that you think it unlikely that the units would be on a separate title. ???
If the units were all on one title, how would they be capable of being sold to individual owners?
A body corporate is simply an incorporated body, the purpose of which is to establish a single legal entity which comprises the individual and separate entities of the separate owners.
A Plan of Subdivision, at the time of registration, is given a number, and this number is also the identification of the Body Corporate. All plans of subdivision where the new lots share common property, automatically have a registered Body Corporate. However, within 15 months of the transfer of the lots into separate ownership, the inaugural meeting of the BC must be held.
Keep in mind that the BC already exists and insurance which meets legislative requirements must be taken out . However, there are various levels at which the forming of a committee is optional, and then compulsory. Some bodies corporate have hundreds of members (eg Mirvac developments).
Depending on circumstance, sometimes it is cost effective for even a two lot subdivision to appoint a professional manager. This ensures a level of competence is brought to the task and gives peace of mind to the owners, who may not necessarily be the occupiers.
Most bodies corporate are well managed, and the insurance is usually cheaper than if each owner took out insurance separately. And contrary to public opinion, bodies corporate usually have very few rules unless there have been special resolutions to introduce new rules. As these would require to be registered on each and every title, usually the standard rules apply.
When in doubt, ask your Solicitor / conveyancer to arrange that you can inspect the books and minutes of the body corporate. If it is still new, then most likely what you see is what you get.
Things are different from State to State but the differences relating to Strata Title, Community Title, Group Unit Title or a "shared land title" known by whatever name are not great between each state.
Andrews first paragraph says that he has purchased a unit, one of three, and the Developer has arranged a body corporate insurance covering buildings and public liability.
This implied to me that Andrew has purchased a Strata titled unit, by whatever name for his states requirements, and a BC has been registered. One also assumes Insurance has been put in place in accordance with State legislation, but of course this must be checked and should have been done, prior to settlement by his Solicitor / Conveyancer / or Andrew himself.
When I said it seemed unlikely that he had a separate title, I should had added, a separate title "IF NOT A STRATA TITLE OR SIMILAR". In other words, I was trying to say politely to Andrew, how can the unit otherwise exist?
As you said, "if on one title, how would they be capable of being sold to individual owners". I agree, unless on a Company Title and there are many differences with this type of title.
I agree with all your other comments. There isn't a lot of difference between a Mexican and a Cockroach. Australians ones that is.
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