Body Corporate Terms Explained

If it is your first time living in a Body Corporate, there may be terms you will come across that are unfamiliar.

The team at SSKB have put together some helpful to know technical terms that are associated with running an effective and efficient Body Corporate.

Administration Fund

This is primarily to cover the annual day to day running costs of the Body Corporate such as cleaning, grounds maintenance, pool chlorine, electricity for the common area and insurance.

Agenda

An agenda is all items for discussion and resolution at Strata meetings.

Body Corporate

A Body Corporate is a legal entity created when land is subdivided to create common property and lots and is registered to establish a community titles scheme. The scheme can be a duplex, a residential unit block, a high–rise accommodation complex, a shopping complex, a residential suburb or a business park. Every owner of a lot in a community titles scheme is automatically a member of the Body Corporate.

Body Corporate Manager

A Body Corporate Manager is essentially engaged to attend to the legislative requirements placed on a Body Corporate. This generally entails the following processes: 

  • Call, attend, and record the Annual General Meeting each year; 
  • Prepare draft budgets and issue levy notices throughout the year; 
  • Pay approved Body Corporate creditor invoices; 
  • Generally maintain and report on the financial accounts of the Body Corporate; 
  • Generally maintain the rolls and registers of the Body Corporate, including owners’ details; 
  • Effect the common property insurance; 
  • Issue contravention notices; 
  • Provide general advice and guidance to Committee Members and Lot Owners on matters relating to their Body Corporate.

Building Format Plan

A Building Format Plan is a type of official subdivision plan where the boundaries of the lot are defined by the building structure. Typically a high rise tower, and can be townhouses. 

Chairperson

The Chairperson is one of three executive members and is responsible for chairing meetings of the Committee and Body Corporate.

Committee

The Committee is the executive arm of the Body Corporate. The Committee has the duty of putting into effect the lawful decisions of the strata title. It is a group charged with decision-making power to deal with matters of lesser importance that confront a Body Corporate during the year. Every Bodies Corporate must have a Committee. 

Community Titles Scheme

A Community Titles Scheme is the lots and common property that make up your Body Corporate.  

Contribution

Contribution is the Body Corporate levies paid by the Owners to give the Body Corporate funds to operate.  

Contribution Lot Entitlement

The Contribution lot entitlement for a lot is the number assigned to the lot in the Community Management Statement. It is properly calculated as an estimate of the relative amount of expenses either caused or benefiting that particular lot.  

Common Property

Common Property is the land within a Community Titles Scheme that is not within one of the lots owned by the Owner.  

Community Management Statement

The Community Management Statement for a Community Titles Scheme is a document that is registered with the Government and contains all of the basic information about the Body Corporate and Community Titles Scheme. Among other things it identities the exact land on which the Community Titles Scheme is built, it sets out the by-laws, it sets out each owners lot entitlements, and it sets out all the exclusive uses of common property given to owners.  

Financial Year

Bodies Corporate do not operate on the same financial year as the taxation system. The financial year of your Body Corporate is the period ending on the last day of the month before the month in which the Scheme was originally established. E.g. if a Body Corporate were created by registration of its first Community Management Statement in the month of May, then its financial year would end on 30 April each year, except in Schemes registered prior to 13 July 1997, where the financial year ends on the last day of the month in which the first annual general meeting occurred.  

Interest Lot Entitlement

The Interest Lot Entitlement for a lot is the number assigned to that lot in the Community Management Statement. It is properly calculated as the relative market value of the lot compared to all other lots in the Community Titles Scheme.  It is used in certain schemes in calculating the amount of building insurance that lot pays.

Levy

Levies are generally made up of the sinking fund and administration fund, although there can be others such as Marine Levies. The definitions for both funds are below. 

Lot entitlement

There are 2 types of lot entitlement – contribution lot entitlement and interest lot entitlement. In the Community Management Statement each lot is assigned a number that is its own interest lot entitlement and contribution lot entitlement. 

Ordinary Resolution

An ordinary resolution is a motion that is passed when, of those who vote, more voters vote in favour than against. This can either be in terms of number of owners, or (when a poll is requested) in terms of the contribution lot entitlements.

Minutes

A record of all minutes for all meetings held by the Body Corporate. 

Resident Manager

The caretaker and/or letting agent for your scheme, who may live on site or off.  

Resolution Without Dissent

A resolution without dissent is a motion that is passed where of all the people who vote, nobody votes against the motion.

Secretary

The Secretary has various duties in their role as a member of the executive committee, and one of these is calling Committee and General Meetings. The Secretary must advise owners of any upcoming Committee Meetings by placing a Meeting Notice on the common property notice board (if applicable) or distributing notices to residents, however, this is a function generally completed by your Body Corporate Manager on behalf of the Secretary.

Sinking Fund

A sinking fund is effectively a deposit which exists to allow a Body Corporate to pay for repairs and maintenance of their building. The money in a sinking fund can be spent on anticipated capital expenditure, or non-recurring items. 

Special Resolution

A special resolution is a motion that is passed when the votes in favour exceed the votes against by at least two thirds, and those who vote against the motion do not exceed either 25% of the total number of lots, or 25% of the contribution lot entitlement.  

Standard Format Plan

A Standard Format Plan is a type of official sub-division plan where points on the earth define the boundaries of the lot. Typically stand along homes, and can be townhouses.

Treasurer

The Treasurer is one of the three executive members and can be responsible for preparing budgets and managing funds, although the legislation does not require them to. Generally, your Body Corporate Manager will carry out these functions on the Bodies Corporate behalf. 

Volumetric Plan

A Volumetric Plan is a type of official subdivision plan where the lot is defined with a height, breadth and length. It need not create any common property.

We know being new to a Body Corporate can often be a little daunting. SSKB aim to educate all of our clients on all areas of strata living.

If you are not a client of SSKB and would like to see how easy it is to make the switch, click here.  

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