What is common property? Owners of apartments, units or flats are generally members of an owners corporation, which was previously referred to as a ‘body corporate’. On 31 December 2007 (when The Owners Corporations Act 2006 came into effect), all the body corporate organisations started being referred to as ‘owners corporations’.
Land Use Victoria is the Victorian Government’s primary agency for land administration. It registers the plans of subdivision that either alter/create owners corporations, as well as various applications including changes of address or any rules that occur once an owners corporation is created.
Common property-what is it?
Common property is clearly defined in the property’s plan of subdivision; it may include various areas and features parts of the buildings, airspace as well as land that aren’t defined as reserves, lots, and roads.
Those looking to buy any property, usually under a strata title such as a villa, townhouse or apartment will likely hear this term- ‘common property’. This term applies to various sections of the residence that are collectively owned by owners of that particular complex.
The areas covered by common property
So, what is common property. Common property can cover:
- The driveway leading to an apartment block
- All external or boundary walls
- Roof/floor of the entire complex in certain circumstances
- Plumbing installations
- Other facilities
- Gardens and landscaping
Common property is generally identified with thicker lines on strata plans.
Who is responsible for common property maintenance?
As every owner has a stake in all the common property areas, the responsibility of these spaces lies with all the owners. Repairs and maintenance are, therefore, the complete responsibility of that owner’s corporation.
While the corporation is wholly responsible, every single owner is required to contribute, ensuring the body corporate can keep upgrades, maintenance and repairs of all these areas and features up to date. This is typically the case through the strata levies, which may also be referred to as body corporate fees.
How to identify what is common property
Land Use Victoria explains that in order to clearly determine what is included in common property; the buyer will need to inspect a copy of the structure’s registered strata plan. You would also need to inspect a copy of the current search of that common property title.
You can purchase these via the government portal in Victoria. The common property title will alert you to any alterations in the by-laws that might affect what includes and excludes common property.
For more information, contact your Bluestone OCM today.