Every Owner of a lot in a community titles scheme is automatically a member of the Body Corporate. The Committee is made up of volunteer Owners/Representatives from the Body Corporate.
The Body Corporate
Legislatively, Bodies Corporate performs a limited purpose. They must:
- Administer the common property and the Body Corporate assets for the benefit of the Owners
- Maintain common property
- Enforce the community management statement (CMS) by-laws
- Carry out other functions given to the Body Corporate under legislation, such as keeping records about its operations, meetings and owners
The Body Corporate is not legally able to do anything other than fulfill these mandatory responsibilities. In performing these duties, the Body Corporate can enter into contracts, employ staff and generally deal with property. Unlike a commercial company, it cannot conduct business, such as a letting agency, tour operation or restaurant. However, the Body Corporate may engage in any business activities necessary to properly carry out its functions (e.g. investing funds).
It is important to note that no individual acting in isolation can make a decision.
The Committee is the executive arm of the Body Corporate. The Committee has the duty of putting into effect the lawful decisions of the Body Corporate. It is a group charged with decision-making power to deal with matters of lesser importance that confront a Body Corporate during the year. The Committee is elected yearly at the annual general meeting.
The duties of the Committee Members include:
- Attending all the committee meetings each year. These meetings are called as required and are usually three – four times a year, depending on the size of the scheme
- Reading and understanding the meeting notices prior to attending the meeting
- Attending to any task they have agreed to perform (e.g. obtaining quotes or organizing a working bee)
These duties can be made easier for clients of SSKB by utilising the SSKB app. Chairperson for Mowbray Residential Terry O’Hanlon-Rose stated “Recently we have joined SSKB as our Body Corporate Managers and we’ve got to use the awesome app. The app has just made life so simple as the Body Corporate Chair and the Committee love the group chat function. It gives information about all the different Committee and it allows portability so that we can contact each other at any time of the day, anywhere through the app that’s on our mobile. We love the simplicity of it and it is easy to use. The accessibility just makes it the highlight of being on the Body Corporate as Chairperson”.
Body Corporate Manager (Community Manager)
A Body Corporate Manger is engaged to:
- Administrative tasks to assist the Committee in the day to day operation of the Body Corporate in compliance with the applicable legislation
- Issuing and collection of levies
- Payment of approved invoices
- Providing draft budgets
- Assisting with calling and minuting meetings
- Implementing motions and Committee directives
- Providing general guidance on relevant legislative matters to the Committee
The Body Corporate Manager facilitates a number of meetings each year as directed by the Committee:
- An annual general meeting
- A budget meeting
- A specific number of committee meetings relevant to each scheme
So, are there things a Body Corporate Manager does not do?
A Community Manager is not the real estate, property manager or letting agent. A Community Manager does not set levies or make decisions on running a strata community – that is the obligation of the Owners, governed by the Committee. They cannot give legal advice, but they can point to relevant clauses in state legislation that may assist Committees to make a decision.
The Building Manager’s role and services are specified in the caretaking agreement between the Building Manager and the Body Corporate. Usually, the Building Manager will be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the common areas, with duties such as maintaining the garden, mowing lawns, cleaning lifts and lobbies, changing light bulbs, and overseeing refuse collection.
The Building Manager will usually be involved with obtaining quotes for the Committee to consider for works outside of their agreement, such as the major re-painting of the building. The Building Manager will normally oversee on site contractors who are there on behalf of the Body Corporate, and assist the Committee with upholding the by-laws by advising them when there are issues, for the Committee to address.
If you would like more information on the roles and responsibilities of your Body Corporate, please don’t hesitate to contact your Community Manager. You can also click here to read some Body Corporate FAQ’s.