Owners Corporation Law - Governing Legislation & Regulations

Review of strata laws & short stays

There is currently a full post implementation review of the strata regulatory landscape, including the regulation of managers. There is also proposed short term letting law changes. Read more


Fees for OC Certificates, Register & Records. Changes to the OC Regulations, effective 1 October 2014, have changed the fees for Certificates and for copies of the register and records. The CAV website details the fees.


Company title neighbourhood disputes at VCAT

The Exposure Draft of the Company Titles (Home Units) Bill 2012 confers jurisdiction on VCAT to hear and determine neighbourhood disputes in relation to company title corporations and service companies for building subdivisions [stratum]. The Bill is proposed to commence on 1 July 2013, unless brought into operation at an earlier date. Feedback has been sought from SCA (Vic). Accompanying the Exposure Draft is an Explanatory Statement with extensive background. Both of these can both be accessed here  
This reform issue is about whether to bring under the owners corporation laws the orphan company share and stratum properties that are currently governed by ASIC under the Corporations Act.
The position of SCA (Vic) is that the Bill is welcome news notwithstanding its limited application to only “neighbourhood disputes”. Here is the SCA (Vic) submission.

OC law changes in 2011         There have been some changes. One unwelcome change gives individuals 'standing', but problems with overseas lot owners are now overcome. Read more

Fines now in OC Regulations    Read more.

Clearer boundaries on new plans        Unless otherwise specified on the plan, the definition of boundaries is now much clearer and more specific than it has been in the past. Whilst the new Subdivision (Registrar’s Requirements) Regulations 2011 that commenced 8 October 2011 are not retrospective, it will provide much clearer boundaries going forward, and may well also help resolve some disputes over existing plans. See in particular Regulation (10), subregulations (4), (5) and (8).

 

 

Legislation:
Owners Corporations Act 2006 
Regulations: Owners Corporations Regulations
Subdivision (Registrar's Requirements) Regulations 2011

Copies of the above may be obtained from:

NSTAT (an SAI Global company). ANSTAT is the official and exclusive print publisher of legislation for the State of Victoria, publishing and printing every Act and Regulation in hard copy.


Electronically – Downloaded free of charge from Victorian Legislation & Parliamentary Documents web site
http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/.

To obtain a copy of the Owners Corporations Act 2006, go to http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/, click on Victorian Statute Book then on Victorian Acts-List Acts by Title. Select the 2006 widget and scroll down the page to the link to the Owners Corporations Act 2006 or Victorian Law Today, search acts, key word "Owners Corporation".

Hard Copies – Purchased from ANSTAT
Consumer Affairs Victoria has taken over responsibility for administration of Part 5 and section 38 of the Subdivision Act 1988. Land Registry, Land Victoria retains responsibility for registration of the plans of subdivision and any alterations to the plan.



About the laws
New laws have significantly changed the landscape for the one in four Victorians who own or occupy property in more than 88,000 owners corporations in Victoria.

The Owners Corporations Act 2006 [the Act] commenced on 31 December 2007.

The new regulatory regime aims to improve transparency and financial accountability in the management of owners corporations and we welcome new dispute resolution provisions, but more onerous regulatory compliance will result in higher costs to be borne by owners.

With 88,475 owners corporations and 747,336 lots in Victoria, about 1,500,000 Victorians or 1 in 4 people are living in or affected by owners corporations.

Owners corporations play an important role in maintaining property and sustaining residential property values in Victoria.

Owners corporations comprise of residential properties ranging from 2 units in a suburban street to many hundreds of units in an urban tower block. Owners corporations also encompass commercial, retail, lifestyle resorts, retirement villages, car parks, storage facilities, industrial and, increasingly, mixed developments with more than one form of development.

This legislation represents a huge shift in public policy and completely changes the rules we’ve been working under for a generation. Under the new Act, the term Body Corporate is replaced with Owners Corporation. The name change is the least of the amendments. Owners corporations now have more legal responsibilities for matters including financial management, record keeping, dealing with complaints and meeting procedures.

Owners Corporation Managers facilitate the management of:

People in a community living environment

Billions of dollars of other peoples money on an on-going and not a single transaction basis

Entire communities and their current and future assets and facilities.

Managers are now required to be registered and it is an offence to carry out any function as the manager for fee or reward unless the person is registered under Part 12 of the Act.

The committee now becomes the executive of the owners corporation and acts as the owners corporation between general meetings. A committee has all the powers and functions that may be delegated by the Owners Corporation save for those requiring a unanimous resolution or a special resolution or where the Owners Corporation has otherwise determined must be decided by ordinary resolution at a general meeting

The model rules prescribed by the regulations apply if there are no rules. If there are existing registered special or additional rules then if the model rules provide for a matter and the existing rules of the Owners Corporation do not then the model rules will now apply.

Prescribed Owners Corporations include a development with more than 100 lots (separate Owners Corporations for storage lots, car parking lots and accessory lots are included in the lot total) or total annual fees exceeding $200,000 and must have a 10 year maintenance plan, have financial statements audited, and obtain valuations for insurance purposes .

There is a 3 tier system for dispute resolution - Internal, CAV and Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal [VCAT]. The internal dispute resolution procedure is prescribed both in Part 10 under the Act and in the model rules. Notice of 28 days and a final notice of a further 28 days must be given to rectify breaches or failure to pay fees and charges.

An owners corporation is required to have a register of important information.

Under the Act there is now available from Consumer Affairs Victoria [CAV] the Approved Forms and Notices, such as Fee Notices for example.

A Guide for owners corporations has been developed by CAV - "Owning, managing and living in a unit or apartment: Guide to owners corporations". Printed copies are available or you can download it from the CAV web site.

CAV also have on their web site a range of fact sheets that provide information and sample documents about running an owners corporation.