Owners Corporation Terms Explained – NSW

If it is your first time living in an Owners Corporation, 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 Owners Corporation.

Chairperson

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

Committee

The Owners Corporation Committee is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the Owners Corporation and putting lawful decisions of the Owners Corporation into effect.

Common Property

Common property boundaries of each lot are generally formed by:

  • the upper surface of the floor (but not including carpet)
  • the under surface of the ceiling
  • all external or boundary walls (including doors and windows).

Common property can include such things as:

  • pipes in the common property or servicing more than one lot
  • electrical wiring in the common property or servicing more than one lot
  • originally installed parquet floors, ceramic tiles, floor boards, vermiculite ceilings, plaster ceilings and cornices
  • magnesite finish on the floor
  • most balcony doors are usually common property if the strata plan was registered after 1974
  • the slab dividing two storeys of the same lot or one storey from an open space roof area or garden areas of a lot (eg. a townhouse or villa), is usually common property if the strata plan was registered after 1 July 1974, unless the registered strata plan says it is not.

Capital Works Fund

An Owners Corporations capital works fund is effectively a deposit which exists to allow an Owners Corporation to pay for repairs and maintenance of a building.

Owners Corporation

The Owners Corporation is made up of all owners in a scheme.

Owners Corporation Manager

The role of an Owners Corporation Manager is to support strata communities to meet the legislative and administrative obligations of running an Owners Corporation.

The specific duties performed may change from community to community dependent on its size, complexity and the involvement of the Owners Corporation Committee. That role is explained in the management agreement. A Strata Manager can only take instructions from the Committee.

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 Owners Corporation Manager on behalf of the Secretary.

Special Fees

Special fees cover extraordinary or unexpected expenditure (such as urgent repairs). If the amount of the proposed special fee is more than double the amount of the Owners Corporations annual fees, it must be approved by special resolution. For the special resolution to be passed, it required support from at least 75 per cent of all lot owners.

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 Owners Corporation Manager will carry out these functions on the Owners Corporations behalf.

We know being new to an Owners Corporation 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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