If you’re looking at buying a property on a strata title (an apartment, unit, or a house on land that has been subdivided), you may be looking at buying into an ownership corporation. Some of these properties can be great value – but you should know what you’re buying into. They can be complex, though, so it’s worth doing some research and getting advice before jumping in.
What is an ownership corporation?
An ownership corporation is a body responsible for managing, administering, repairing, and maintaining common property (for example, stairs, walls, fences, gardens, pathways, driveways, lifts, and lobbies) on a residential development.
An owners corporation must:
- manage and administer the common property
- repair and maintain the common property, fixtures and services
- take out and maintain required insurance
- raise fees from the lot owners to meet financial obligations
- prepare financial statements and keep financial records
- provide owners corporations certificates when requested
- keep an owners corporation register
- establish a grievance procedure.
(Source: Consumer Affairs Victoria: What is an owner’s corporation?)
Do your homework
You should do your due diligence before buying into a strata title. Check:
- The Section 32 certificate, which will tell you the owner corporation fees, insurance cover and recent maintenance
- Rules, restrictions and responsibilities.
- Structure and membership. Who’s in charge? How often are elections? How popular are the committee?
Want to know more?
Check out the fantastic resources on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website pages about owners corporations.