When looking at purchasing a property in a block of apartments, units or the increasingly common golfing estate, it is highly likely that the property will have a owners’ corporation, now commonly known as an Owners’ Corporation. In fact, any subdivision with common property is required by law to have an owners’ corporation.
When buying into a subdivision with an owners’ corporation, it is advisable to complete an owners’ corporation search. This is separate to the other searches and will provide you with the following:
- A copy of the minutes from the last few general meetings; this will often reveal discussions about defects in a building and money that has to be raised for future repairs and/or maintenance
- Details of the owners’ corporation structure and how much power and control the owners’ corporation exerts
- A copy of the strata plan to ensure that the owners’ corporation is operating legally and has sufficient funds to carry out necessary maintenance
- A copy of the owners’ corporation rules
- A copy of the owners’ corporation certificate; this will indicate if the owners’ corporation has any outstanding unpaid fees, if it is party to any proceedings and if it has recently proposed the appointment of an administrator.
While owner’s corporations are often dormant, they can also be very active and impose very strict obligations on residents. The Subdivision (Owners’ corporation) Regulations 2001 (Vic) provide standard rules. However, it is common for larger developments to impose a number of additional restrictions and requirements on its residents.