BUYING INTO A BODY CORPORATE - CONVEYANCING
When you buy a unit or apartment in Queensland you are purchasing a lot on a property that has a managing group named the Body Corporate. This is called buying into a ‘Community Titles Scheme’ (CTS).
It is essential if you buy property that is part of a CTS that you are aware of the following:
- Who the Body Corporate is
- The Community Management Statement
- What services and disputes they manage
- What fees or levies you will have to pay to the Body Corporate and when
- What are your obligations and responsibilities as a member of the Body Corporate
If you are considering buying a new apartment or unit in Brisbane and Queensland contact River City Conveyancing today for a fair fixed price conveyancing quote. Our trusted conveyancing team will ensure that you are informed of all your Body Corporate obligations and that your purchase of a lot goes through easily without any surprises.
WHAT IS A COMMUNITY TITLES SCHEME?
“A community titles scheme is scheme land and the single community management statement identified with the Registrar of Titles identifying that scheme land.
A community titles scheme comprises:
- at least 2 lots
- a common property
- a single body corporate
- a single community management statement "
When you own a lot in a CTS there are obligations that are different to owning land or a house. Once the title of the lot is transferred into your ownership you are unable to choose to leave the Body Corporate and you must meet the obligations and responsibilities set out by the Community Management Statement.
The Community Management Statement is a document unique to each CTS that defines relevant by-laws, lot entitlement schedules, any proposed development of your lot and which regulation module applies to the scheme.
WHAT DOES THE BODY CORPORATE DO?
The Body Corporate is responsible for a number of roles that usually include:
- Maintaining the common property including shared driveways, elevators, escalators, letterboxes, swimming pools, parking areas, tennis courts, indoor gym areas, rubbish disposal and bin areas
- In some cases maintaining the building where it is not common property
- Resolving disputes internally where possible
- Following the BCCM Act that regulates the rights and responsibilities of all members
- Organisation and attendance of meetings
- Property Insurance
- Payment and management of Body Corporate levies paid by each member
WHAT IS THE BCCM ACT?
The BCCM Act is a legislation that oversees as well as determines the rights and obligations of most of the body corporates in Queensland.
Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (BCCM Act).
There are a number of ‘regulation modules’ which act in addition to the BCCM Act to cover the many different types of Community Title Schemes. As an owner of a lot in a CTS it is very important to find out which module applies.
WHAT ARE BODY CORPORATE SEARCHES IN CONVEYANCING?
River City Conveyancing will conduct a number of searches on your behalf during your conveyance.
These can include:
A Body Corporate Records Search/ Body Corporate Search
The search will let you know all the information regarding the Body Corporate rules relating to
- General meetings
- Financial management
- Property management
- Any additional insurance you may need to buy on the property
- Any improvements you may need to make on the property
A Body Corporate Information Statement / Form 13
- Any annual levies you must pay
- Any outstanding levies you may be liable to pay from previous owners Survey Plan Search
The survey plan of a CTS is a map that defines the boundaries between lots and what is considered the common property or (shared parts of the property.)
There are generally 2 types of survey plans; a building format plan or a standard format plan.
River City Conveyancing will help you understand what type of plan applies to your lot as it is essential to know which areas are common property and who is responsible for their maintenance. In addition to this we can ensure that you know if there are any costs for general upkeep and maintenance of your lot and the shared common property.
WHAT ARE BODY CORPORATE LEVIES?
Body Corporate Levies are regular fees paid by owners that contribute to the running costs of the CTS and are likely to increase each year or incur interest if left unpaid.
If there are any unpaid levies by the previous owner of the lot you may need to pay them. Your River City Conveyancing paralegal will make sure you know what you will need to pay once you become the new owner.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IF YOU OWN A LOT IN A COMMUNITY TITLE SCHEME?
If you buy a new apartment or unit that is part of a CTS there may be different duties and responsibilities that you must meet.
These can include:
- Maintaining in good condition your lot
- Maintaining in good condition an area of the common property that you have exclusive right to use
- Observing any by-laws that the scheme is subject to
- Avoid causing nuisance or hazard to other members of the body corporate and owners of the scheme
- Interfere unreasonably with the use or enjoyment of another lot
- Interfere unreasonably with the use or enjoyment of the common property by a person who is lawfully there
- Attending any meetings of the committee regarding management of the body corporate
- Keeping up to date with the minutes of body corporate meetings
- Contributing to levies and fees for the running of the body corporate and maintenance to the CTS
- Paying additional property insurance
- Paying for improvements to the lot
COMMUNITY TITLES SCHEME BYLAWS
By-laws are any extra set of rules that the owners must follow and is unique to each scheme. These rules also regulate any occupiers and guests within each lot and on the common property.
River City Conveyancing will help you understand what you can and can’t do as an owner and what you will need to ask permission for. By-laws also detail many issues including to noise in common areas, pets and parking.
If you are signing a new contract for the purchase of a unit or apartment in Queensland contact our expert legal team today on 07 3013 2300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free fixed quote