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  • Writer's pictureGuy Elliott

Body Corporate Maintenance

A question I answer daily whether your buying a home or you already own a home in a community title scheme you will at some stage be hit with this problem.

Will Body Corporate pay for the repairs to your house? to start to answer this question you need to know a couple of things about your property.

Survey plans

Click here for Sailfish Point Group Title Plan The survey plan for a community titles scheme shows the boundaries of the common property and the lots in that scheme. There are various types of survey plans and boundary definitions may differ depending on the type of Plan. Registered survey plans can be obtained from Titles Registration in the Department of Environment and Resource Management.The two common types of survey plans are building format plans and standard format plans.

Standard Format Plan ( Sailfish Point & Cove )

Standard format plan defines land horizontally with references to marks on the ground or a structural element (for example, survey pegs in the ground or the corner of a dwelling). As an example, a standard format plan may include a townhouse complex, where the individual lots would comprise a building and land (front and/or back courtyards).

Is a form of subdivision that usually occurs within a building, but could apply to other developments like townhouses. A building format plan defines land using the structural elements of a building, including for example, floors, walls and ceilings.

Okay so you have worked out your property is defined by the standard format plan formerly the group title plan now its time to work out what the Body Corporate will pay for.

Once you have decided that you have an issue that is Body Corporate responsibility. This means you have taken the time to research the situation and your 100 % sure you need to get the item replaced or repaired, this is where the real fun starts. This will involve most likely a couple of different people.

( Owners )

The Body Corporate must elect a committee at each annual general meeting. Once elected, the committees tasked with the administrative and day to day requirements of the body corporate. The committee acts on behalf of the body corporate and puts in place the lawful decisions of the body corporate (the BCCM Act sections 100 and 101).

(Complete body cooperate services)

is defined by the BCCM Act as a person who: ‘is engaged by the body corporate (other than as an employee of the body corporate) to supply administrative services to the body corporate, whether or not the person is also engaged to carry out the functions of a committee, and the executive members of a committee, for a body corporate’.

A manager must comply with the ‘Code of Conduct for Body Corporate Managers and Caretaking Service Contractors’ (BCCM Act Schedule 2) when performing obligations under the contract of engagement.

(GKM Property Management Pty Ltd )

Service contractor for a community titles scheme who can also be authorised as a letting agent for the scheme (or an associate of a letting agent for a scheme.)

If they own their lot they are able to vote at general meetings. They are automatically a non-voting member of the committee but are ineligible to be a voting member.

A service contractor is not an employee.

The services they provide can include but are not limited to:

cleaning the pool,lawn mowing gardening.

​One of the above people you will need to contact but more importantly you need to understand there roles in the system because if you do not you will get very frustrated.

I would say the first person you should approach about all issues with Body Corporate maintenance is the Caretaker. Understand your situation if its an emergency eg, a water main has burst and water is flooding the building or common property call the Caretakers straight away they are there to help. Do not call them late at night to tell them about non urgent items this is what emails are for, also remember if the maintenance issue is not Body Corporate property then its going to be the owner who has to organise the repair and pay for any maintenance

From here the caretaker will give you advice if they can solve the issue and its clearly body cooperate property the Caretaker will organise the repair and get the approval from the committee.

Sounds easy unfortunately this is where the easy part ends. The next step is the committee if your problem is not simple and the committee needs to approve part of the repair then you need to take your problem direct to them in writing this is normally sent into the Body Corporate Manager who in turn sends this to the committee for there attention.

Hopefully from there the committee will make a sensible and lawful decision based on facts and not emotion. The committee will be guided by the Body Corporate Manager who will give the committee advise on the best way to resolve the issue please understand the role of the Body Cooperate Manager as they advise the committee but ultimately the final decision is always the committees and they are the people responsible for the outcome of any application.

If your a investor and your unit is managed by the On site letting Agent I have good news, you are best positioned to solve any issues that will come up as the onsite letting agent will know how to approach any maintenance issue you might have. If your a owner who lives onsite or your property is managed by a outside real estate agency then all I can say is good luck and remember to do your research and understand the system you are apart of.

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