The hierarchy of the body corporate

Hierarchy of the body corporate

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The hierarchy of the body corporate

In the realm of property ownership and management, the concept of a body corporate plays a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth operation and maintenance of multi-unit developments, such as apartment buildings, townhouses, and commercial complexes.  

This intricate system involves various roles and responsibilities, each contributing to the effective functioning of the community and the preservation of property values. In this article we look at what is the body corporate and the roles of the body corporate manager, body corporate committee and the caretaker. 

Hierarchy of the body corporate

The body corporate

The term ‘body corporate’ refers to the collective group of property owners within a multi-unit development. This is represented by the dark green circle in our diagram.  

Whenever the term ‘body corporate’ is encountered – whether on our website, in government documentation, or any other relevant context, it signifies the entirety of property owners as a unified entity.  

The body corporate manager

The body corporate manager, also known as a strata manager, is the service contractor engaged by the body corporate to carry out delegated functions of the committee and the body corporate more broadly. A body corporate manager can be an individual, or it can be an organisation that specialises in the management of bodies corporate.  

Their role is crucial in working with committees, lot owners, and tenants to ensure that the building is administered in accordance with the legislation with a specific focus on delivering secretarial and financial services to ensure the body corporate is appropriately guided in the best interests of all stakeholders involved.  

The body corporate manager will also work closely with a caretaker, if your scheme has one, in ensuring that the scheme is maintained day-to-day. 

The duties of a body corporate manager may include: 

  • Keeping of all body corporate records 
  • Issuing and collecting levy payments from lot owners 
  • Arrange for the body corporate to be insured 
  • Organising and attending committee and body corporate meetings 
  • Assist in coordinating repairs and maintenance for the common property 
  • Provide financial statements, prepare budgets, undertake cash flow analysis and comply with any tax requirements 
  • Provide general advice on body corporate legislation and assist in the dispute resolution process 
  • Liaise with contractors, service providers, and legal professionals 
  • Assist with lot owner applications, requests and correspondence 

The body corporate committee

The body corporate committee are lot owners elected by the body corporate each year at the annual general meeting. The Committee is responsible for handling all administrative and governance matters within the body corporate and are the key decision makers on behalf of the body corporate day-to-day. 

The Committee’s responsibilities may include: 

  • Enforce by-laws and regulations to ensure community harmony 
  • Authorising maintenance and repair projects for common property areas (within limits) 
  • Deal with owner and occupiers’ requests, applications and correspondence
  • Setting budgets and approving financial decisions for the property 
  • Schedule body corporate and committee meetings 
  • Liaise with the body corporate manager and, if applicable, the caretaker 

The caretaker

The caretaker, often referred to as the building or onsite manager, is an individual or a company engaged by the body corporate as a service contractor to carry out delegated functions. 

The caretaker’s primary role is to take instruction from the committee and the body corporate manager in overseeing the day-to-day operations on the ground and ensure the property is maintained, well-kept, secure and free of any hazards. 

The Caretaker’s responsibilities may include: 

  • Maintain the common property in accordance with a specific set of duties incorporate into their service contract 
  • Ensure all common areas are clean such as lifts, lobbies, hallways, and recreational facilities 
  • Maintain gardens and grounds on common property 
  • Overseeing security measures, including access control and surveillance 
  • Responding to maintenance requests and addressing emergencies 
  • Coordinate works with maintenance contractors by arranging quotations, providing access and supervision whilst a contractor is on site 
  • Provide regular updates and reports to the committee and body corporate manager 

The collaborative framework of the body corporate

The structure of the body corporate functions as a collaborative framework in which each entity plays a distinct role to ensure the effective management and maintenance of the property.  

By working together, the body corporate manager, body corporate committee, and the caretaker create an environment where property owners can enjoy the benefits of shared amenities, services, and resources while adhering to rules and regulations that promote community harmony. 

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