A body corporate is the governing body that helps you manage a unit block or a group of townhouses. Basically a group of people that share common areas like driveways or gardens or elevators or pools all those different kind of things.
You are going to need someone managing the body corporate. Now that someone can be yourself or it can be a professional company that does it for you. However it’s not legally required that you have a professional company do it.
So you can do it yourself I’ve done some research on this to find out how you can do it yourself and to take some of the steps. I won’t go into the full technical details of everything that needs to be done but I can give you an overview of what you need to do.
As mentioned before you can do it yourself but you do need to be aware that you will be taking on some responsibility and liability if things go wrong or if you’re not keeping up with legislation or your insurance lapse, so there will be some personal liability if you decide to run this yourself. It can also be a lot of work, there is a steep learning curve and things you need to know about running your own body corporate so there’s going to be a lot of time needed to be put in to understand how to do it and in the running of it there’s going to be time and management there as well.
The first thing that you’re going to need is chairman. This is the person that is running the show. You’re going to need a treasurer, which is someone that is going to manage the finances. The chairman and the treasurer can be the same person you’re also going to need a secretary this is person that is going to minute the meetings that you have whether you have them on an annual basis or whether you have them more frequently.
If you do decide to do it yourself, you’re going to need to understand the basics. So you’re going to need to understand exactly what is common property, what is common property on the property that you are managing, what insurances do you need and you also need to get valuations done on a regular basis to ensure these insurances are kept up to date. You also need to know how to comply with fire regulations; you need to know about the legal requirements for safety audits for the property etc;
You also need to know how to manage the body corporate accounts, the bank accounts and all of the finances. One of the common requirements not legal requirements but just it’s a good idea you have a lot of owner occupiers in your block. If you have a large percentage of people who own and occupy in the block vs people who own it but rent it out so people who are investors then it seems to go better. This is because people who live there, probably take more pride in the common areas and the unit block itself, whereas people who are just renting don’t really see that stuff as their responsibility. They are renting, they do what they need to do but really it’s the responsibility of the owner to make that happen.
So when you are managing it yourself if owners are just investors and they don’t really care about it and they’re not going to do a lot to help you with the upkeep, well then you’re going to be running it basically by yourself and so that’s going to be pretty difficult for you and pretty time consuming so it might be worth paying the fee. So now let’s have a look at some of the things that will draw your time and take your attention. This means that you are going to need to follow up with the other owners if they don’t pay their fees on time and ensure that they pay their fees on time. If they don’t then you’re going to have to deal with that confrontation and those legal issues.
You need to ensure that insurance is current and sufficient for the property and that may mean getting a valuer in each and every year to ensure that your insurance is kept up to date. You need to arrange for an AGM which is an annual general meeting each and every year ensuring every owner gets sufficient notice and you need to ensure that the correct minutes are taken.
You need to have time to arrange maintenance to occur on the property when its required and you need to make sure that someone’s on site when needed for the trades people to come through. Maybe trades people can come through and you don’t need to be on site in some circumstances but there will be areas where they are going to need access to locked areas and so someone’s going to have to be on site that’s probably going to have to be you or you need to work that out with one of the other owners.
You need to be the one to deal with disputes so when disputes happen, when its confrontation, when people don’t agree and let’s face it when owners get together they’re not friends . There could be massive disagreements, so that’s something you’re going to need to be prepared for that you’re going to have to deal with that.
You’re also going to need to have time and know how to deal with managing agents and managing tenants. If tenants are doing the wrong thing, you’re going to be the one to deal with that and to make sure they don’t do the wrong thing and that they actually follow the rules. So there is a lot to learn, there’s a lot that is going to take up your time, it can be done in terms of the legalities behind it and in terms of the forms you need to fill out and all that sort of stuff.