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Your Body Corporate Questions Answered

Strata Title

What is a ‘Strata Title’?

Property ownership in South Australia falls under three main categories:

Torrens Title:          The purchaser owns the land and building.

Strata Title:             Strata title simply means that there are multiple owners of
properties on one piece of land where all owners are responsible
for the areas that are shared known as ‘common areas. ‘

Community Title:   Community Title is when an area of land is divided into at least
two lots and has common areas which may be used to provide
local amenities or services for the property’s residents.

Strata Titles

A strata title is created by the division of land into separate units (at least two) plus common property [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 5].

The boundaries of a unit are defined by reference to the structural divisions in a building, not by reference to the land.

Click here to listen to the UnitCare Podcast about Strata & Community Titles

How are these Managed?

To protect unitholders’ (owners) assets, a Management Committee is provided for under Legislation and Regulations.

–  Strata Titles Act 1988

Strata Titles Regulations 2018

The act is currently in the legislative update / amendment process)

More information about the act and regulations can be accessed here

Management Committee Structure

The Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) says how the corporation must be structured & run. It includes rules on:

  • Management Committee Membership
  • Elections
  • Meeting Quorums
  • Common Seal
  • Management Committee Officers
What does a Management Committee do?

Under the regulations the committee is required to:

-Set annual budget, financial plans & levies

-Ensure proper insurances

-Keep an updated record of unitholders

-Enforce, manage & update the corporation’s articles & by-laws

-Manage ongoing property maintenance

-Plan, review & implement property upgrades

-Arrange financial audits

-Hold annual general meetings

-Report to regulators

Strata Corporation Officers

At all times, a strata corporation must have a:

Presiding Officer, Secretary and Treasurer

  • All are appointed at a general meeting
  • All must be unitholders
  • One person may hold two or more of these positions.

An offence has been committed if any of these positions is allowed to remain vacant for more than six months  [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 23].

A strata manager can assist in running the corporation’s affairs.

Presiding Officer’s Role
  • A strata corporation must elect a presiding officer.
  • The presiding officer must be a unit holder.
  • The presiding officer’s role is to chair corporation meetings.
  • If the presiding officer is not present, another person at the meeting may be appointed to chair [s 33(8)]
Strata Manager as Presiding Officer
  • If it is proposed that the corporation’s strata manager, or an employee of the strata manager, will chair a meeting of the corporation, a majority of those present and entitled to vote must agree to this. [s 33(9)]
  • The manager must inform the meeting, before any vote is taken, of any proxies the manager holds for the meeting, and that the proxies are available for inspection.
    [Strata Titles Regulations 2X18 (SA) reg 15(3)]
Secretary’s Role
  1. Convene (arrange) management committee meetings
  2. Prepare and distribute minutes of corporation meetings
  3. At corporation meetings, submit a motion for confirmation of the corporation’s last meeting’s minutes
  4. Give the notices that the Act requires members of the corporation and the management committee to give
  5. Deal with the administrative and secretarial matters of the corporation and management committee
  6. Answer communications addressed to the corporation.

[Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 101)]:

Strata Corporation Powers

The [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) gives powers including to :

  • Acquire, deal with and dispose of real and personal property [s 26(1)(a)]
  • Borrow money, maintain bank accounts & invest surplus funds [s 26(1)(b), (c), (d)]
  • Require a unit holder to carry out necessary work, such as internal plumbing repairs [s 28]
  • Levy maintenance payments against unit holders [s 27(2)]
  • Enter into contracts [s 26(1)(e)]
  • Do anything reasonable to enable it to fulfil its functions under the Act [s 26(1)(f)].
Record Keeping and Communication

Ensure all communication and records are accessible by all committee members. 

You can use a cloud application like Base Camp to manage your body corporate emails & records including:

  • Committee Meeting Minutes
  • Invoices and financial records
  • Annual Budgets
  • By-laws and encumbrances (if any)
  • Sinking Fund and Maintenance Plans
  • Building Plans
  • Electrical wiring and lighting specs

BodyCorp2X173@gmail.com

For easier record keeping of emails between:

  • Committee & owners
  • Committee members
  • Committee and Strata ManagerCreate a committee email address

What Records Must We Keep?

Body Corporate Record Keeping

The strata corporation has a responsibility to maintain proper records, including:

Body Corporate Records
  • Notices and orders served on the corporation for 7 years
    [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 40; Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 30(d)];
  • Copies of correspondence received or sent by the corporation for 7 years
    [reg 30(e)];
  • Notices of meetings of the corporation and its management committee for 7 years
    [reg 30(f)];
  • Documents received by the strata corporation from the original registered proprietor [s 38(3)(b) and (c)] for 30 years [reg 30(g)].
  • Accounting records

    Keep records relating to receipts and expenditure of the corporation [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 40] and the management committee [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 35(8)])

    – It must ensure that a ‘statement of accounts’ is prepared for each accounting period [s 4X] and keep those statements and the accounting records for 7 years [reg 30(c)].

Treasurer’s Role

The strata corporation Treasurer must:

  • Notify unit holders of any contributions to be raised from them in accordance with the Act;
  • Receive, acknowledge, bank and account for any money paid to the corporation; and
  • Keep accounting records and prepare financial statements.

[Strata Titles Regulations 2X18 (SA) reg 1X(2)]

What are our budget responsibilities?

Body Corporate Budgets
  • The Management Committee sets the budget and level of unit holders levies required to cover the budgeted costs
  • A Maintenance Plan for the common property must be developed
    and approved by the Management Committee
  • The budget needs to cover:
    – known and predicted management and maintenance costs
    – expected rises in ongoing costs for the coming budget year
  • The management committee can’t just use last year’s budget or accept a budget provided by a previous management committee or strata manager
  • The Management Committee must create and approve a budget for the coming year.  It can draw on last year’s budget and expenses as an example, but also needs to consider:

    – All predicted short and long-term expenses

    – Contingencies for non-predicted  expenses

    – 3, (or even5 or 10) year maintenance and renewal plans.

    To ensure long term expenses are equitably paid for by past, current and future unit holders, the sinking fund needs to be built up over a long-term lead-in period, not left until a big-ticket item occurs. 

Sinking Fund Requirements
  • Strata Corporations of 7 to 20 units are required to present forward budgets for a 3-year period.

    Forward budgets are a fund set aside to pay for improvements and the possibility of major unexpected costs not covered in your current maintenance and repair budget. Forward budgeted items may include structural repairs, security and building upgrades.

    Corporations with more than 20 units have greater requirements.

    Note: The Act and Regulations do not call the fund a ‘sinking fund’.

Draft Budget Example (10 Units)

Draft Budget Example (36 Units)

How do we deal with unit holders / owners who don’t want to be involved in the Body Corporate Management?

Occupiers and Non Occupiers Participation
  • A Body Corporate committee is elected by the Unitholders at each Annual General Meeting to manage the Corporation of their behalf until the next AGM.
  • Owners, whether or not they are the occupants of their units are eligible for election and have rights to committee consideration of Body Corporate issues or actions that interest or concern them.
  • Tenants have no rights to election and are not entitled to seek Body Corporate action, except where the unit owner agrees to act on their behalf.
Owners’ have relationships with the Committee

Owners’ have relationships with the Committee.

What is the renter (tenant) relationship with the Committee of Management?

Tenant’s have relationships with the owner or the property manager.

What is the relationship between renters (tenants of unitholders) and the Committee of Management?

Annual Meetings and Special Meetings
  • Why are these needed?

Include an example AGM agenda

  • What if we can’t get people to attend?
  • Can we hold meetings electronically – phone/zoom etc?
  • How does Proxy voting work
  • How do we hold elections?
  • Can the committee just stay the same people without elections?
  • What if we don’t get a Quorum
Where do Strata Managers fit with the Committee of Management?
  • How do I choose the best Strata Manager?
  • See how your current Strata Manager compares to expectations using the UnitCare checklist

Self Managed Checklist

Professionally Managed Checklist

Where do Body Corporate (BC) Managers fit with the Committee of Management?
  • Do we need a Strata (BC) Management Company?
  • What can Strata Managers do? (See the Check list)
  • What are the essential services they must provide?
  • What additional or optional services a body corporate can ask for from a Strata Manager

[Strata Titles Regulations 2X18 (SA) reg 1X(2)]:

What Services should we expect of a Strata Manager ?

Financial Management

Strata Manager takes care of all financial matters:

  • Collects, banks (into a trust account) and records maintenance contributions, levies, interest and other amounts due to the Corporation.
  • Pays accounts and outgoings.
  • Sends notices levying maintenance or other contributions.
  • Acts as the public officer of the Body Corporate for taxation purposes;
  • Prepares the Corporation’s annual Statement of Accounts and have the Trust Account audited annually.

Financial Information Provision

  • Monthly or quarterly Corporation Financial Report and Activity Reports to the Treasurer
  • Financial and Activity Reports to all owners annually.
  • Annual Audit Report to the Treasurer prior to the AGM.

Meeting Support

  • Arranges meetings and prepares and distributes notices, budgets and agendas.
  • Attends and assists the Presiding Officer & Secretary in the conduct of meetings.
  • Provides meeting minutes in good time.

Mediation

  • Assists in resolving disputes
What other Strata Manager Services should we expect?

Maintenance Management

  • Advise and arrange for the maintenance, repair and replacement of common property.
  • Provide all-hours access to emergency maintenance.
  • Organise emergency maintenance works.
  • Pay maintenance accounts

Insurance advice and management

  • Review, place and renew insurances.
  • Arrange a building valuation.
  • Have any claim promptly processed.

Secretarial support

  • Promptly deal with Corporation correspondence and requests for Search Statements.
  • Regularly inform the Presiding Officer of the nature and importance of all correspondence.
  • Keep Corporation records secure and confidential.
  • Electronically archive Corporation records.

A contract with the Strata Manager describes these and possibly other services they will provide for you.

How well is your Corporation doing?

We have had an annual general meeting in the past 12-15 months                      Yes / No

We have a Presiding Officer, Treasurer and Secretary                                               Yes / No

Our elected officer bearers know their duties and liabilities                                    Yes / No

Our officer bearers are covered by liability insurance                                                Yes / No

Our Corporation helps resolve disputes between members, or with tenants          Yes / No

We have an information sharing system for our committee & BC manager            Yes / No

We keep all our members up to date and well-informed                                            Yes / No

We welcome provide information on rights & responsibilities to new members    Yes / No

Our Common Property Title is in a safe place                                                                Yes / No

We have a current copy of the Strata Titles Act                                                            Yes / No

Our buildings are insured for their full replacement cost                                           Yes / No

All sheds, skylights, air-conditioners and pergolas on the
property are approved and legal                                                                                     Yes / No     

We are looking after our assets by maintaining the buildings
and common property in good repair                                                                            Yes / No

Our budget is up to date & allows for some unexpected items                               Yes / No

We have a reserve / sinking fund for the large jobs, such as
painting, gutters or driveways                                                                                         Yes / No    

How do we get the best service and value from our Strata (BC) Manager?

What can you contact your Body Corporate about?

  • Assistance running meetings and AGMs
  • Record keeping
  • Agendas and Budgets
  • Assistance finding maintenance people
  • Clarification of by-laws
  • Anything covered in your contract with your BC Manager

Give your BC Manager plenty of time before the meeting to respond to your support requests.

Contact your BC Manager via email. This keeps a permanent record of your communication and makes it easy to track dates, content and responses.

Selecting a Body Corporate Manager

Have they provided the required explanatory pamphlet ?

The required explanatory pamphlet must set out:

  • The role of the manager
  • The rights of the corporation and its members, including the right to:

√ Inspect records held by the manager

√ Revoke the delegation of a particular function

√ Appoint the manager as a proxy and to revoke that appointment

√ Be told of any payment or benefit that the manager receives from another trader for placing the corporation’s business

√ Terminate the contract in certain circumstances, and

√ Apply to the Magistrates Court for resolution of a dispute

How does your professional BC manager perform?

Now that you have selected your Strata Manager, do they provide:

  • all owners with a written report on all activities and works undertaken for your group
  • your treasurer with monthly financial statements to keep your group up-to-date scrutiny
  • skilled help to resolve disputes
  • easy payment of levies by whatever suits you (BPay, Cheque, Bank Deposit, Credit Cards.)
  • after-hours emergency services
  • attendance at your group as needed?

Is your body corporate (strata) manager a member of the Real Estate Institute of South Australia?

The REI can assist with any disputes that you have with an REI member body corporate manager.

How does your professional manager perform?

Do they provide;

  • trained managers to ensure you get the best advice
  • a money-back trial so your group can try them out
  • a money back performance guarantee that phone calls will be returned promptly, and jobs will be done on time
  • a contract that clearly explains services included in the fee, commissions and any termination arrangements
  • references from current clients that you can check with
  • access to contractors with insurance cover to prevent you being sued if injuries happen
  • professional indemnity insurance cover in case they make a mistake costing you money.
Decision Making
  • Decisions should be made in meetings and according to meeting agendas,
    not by individuals, outside proper meetings, or on the run.
  • The committee needs to be well informed and active in making the decisions for which it is responsible.
  • Decisions are best made within a plan and a budget, not as independent items.
    i.e Make decisions according to principles and the common long-term good, not to please just one person, or the people making the most noise.
  • Decisions should take unitholders special circumstances into account, as long as this does not cause concern for others.
  • But, don’t set unrealisable precedents that will affect future decisions.

Community Title

Types of property ownership

Property ownership in South Australia falls under three main categories:

Torrens Title:          The purchaser owns the land and building.

Strata Title:             Strata title simply means that there are multiple owners of
properties on one piece of land where all owners are responsible
for the areas that are shared, known as ‘common areas. ‘

Community Title:   Community Title is when an area of land is divided into at least
two lots and has common areas which may be used to provide
local amenities or services for the property’s residents.

Click here to listen to the UnitCare Podcast about Strata & Community Titles

Community Title

Community Titles are defined by the lot boundaries and surveyed measurements. Each lot owner is entitled their respective parcels of land with its own title, defined by surveyed land measurements, and the owner is responsible for everything that is part of their own property.

Community Titles may contain designated shared infrastructure (such as roads) and services (such as sewerage or a water supply) which are the responsibility of the Body Corporate.

Types of ‘Community Title’

Two types of community titles:

  • Community Title Schemes
  • Community Strata Schemes.

Both types divide land to create lots and common property in a similar manner to strata titles. Each plan must divide the land to create at least two lots and common property, but multi storey apartments must be Community Strata Schemes.

Unlike a Strata Title, a Community Scheme may include a development lot,
retained by the developer, for later division into further lots within the scheme.

Click here to listen to the UnitCare Podcast about Community and Strata Titles

Community Title & Community Strata Title

Community Strata titles
are defined by the boundaries of the building rather than the land. This title applies to multi level structures such apartment blocks, townhouses and duplexes.

Boundaries are divided into ‘units’ determined through structural divisions of the building, not by reference to the land. For instance, the inside lining of the wall, the bottom of the ceiling, the top of the floor.

There can be common property areas such as shared driveways, elevators, stairways, lobbies, landscapes and gardens.

Community titles are defined by the lot boundaries and surveyed measurements.

Each lot owner is entitled to their respective parcels of land with its own title, defined by surveyed land measurements.

Community Corporation Management

Community corporations must have a:

  • presiding officer
  • secretary
  • treasurerThese must be appointed by ordinary resolution at an AGM. [Community Titles Act 1996 (SA) s 76(1)].
  • Normally, these officers must be lot owners [s 76(2)].
  • If the scheme has ten or less lots, one person may hold two or more positions
  • If the scheme has more than ten lots, one person may hold up to two positions [s 76(3)]

A community corporation may decide to have a management committee and delegate powers to it.  Otherwise, it must make decisions in lot holders’ general meetings.

What does a Management Committee do?

Under the regulations the committee is required to manage

– Ongoing property maintenance

– Property upgrade plan review and implementation

– Sets annual budget, financial plans & levies

– Enforces, manages & updates the corporation’s articles & by-laws

– Arranges financial audits

– Ensures proper insurances

– Holds annual general meetings

– Keeps the record of unitholders updated

– Reports to regulators 

1. Subject to the Act and to any limitations imposed by the corporation or by the by‑laws of the community scheme, a management committee has full power to transact any business of the corporation.
2. A committee cannot delegate its functions or powers but a community corporation may appoint or engage a person to assist the committee in the performance of the committee’s functions.
3. A committee does not have power to do anything for which a special or unanimous resolution of the corporation is required.

Community Corporation Powers

The Community Titles Act 1996 (SA) gives powers including to:

  • Acquire, deal with and dispose of real and personal property [s 26(1)(a)]
  • Borrow money, maintain bank accounts & invest surplus funds [s 26(1)(b), (c), (d)]
  • Require a unit holder to carry out necessary work, such as internal plumbing repairs [s 28]
  • Levy maintenance payments against unit holders [s 27(2)]
  • Enter into contracts [s 26(1)(e)]
  • Do anything reasonable to enable it to fulfil its functions under the Act [s 26(1)(f)].
Management Committee Structure

The Community Title Act 1996 (SA) says how the corporation must be structured and run. 
It includes rules on:

  • Management Committee Membership
  • Elections
  • Meeting Quorums
  • Common Seal
  • Management Committee Officers

The Community Titles Act 1996 requires the community corporation to hold general meeting at least once a year to ensure the community scheme is adequately insured and to discuss other matters as required by the law. Each lot owner has one vote.  If the lot is owned by two or more people, they still have only one vote between them.

Decision Making
  • Decisions should be made in meetings according to meeting agendas,
    not made by individuals, not outside proper meetings, and not ‘on the run’.
  • The committee needs to be well informed and active in making the decisions for which it is responsible.
  • Decisions are best made within a plan and a budget, not as independent items.
    i.e Make decisions according to principles and the common long-term good, not to please just one person, or the people making the most noise.
  • Decisions should take unit holders special circumstances into account, as long as this does not cause concern for others.
  • But… don’t set unrealisable precedents that will affect future decisions.
Bylaws
  • By-laws are the rules of the community corporation.
  • Each and every corporation has its own by-laws.
  • The by-laws bind the lot holders, tenants and the
  • corporation to an agreement regarding the use and upkeep of
    units and common property.
  • While legal obligations under the Community Titles Act cannot be avoided or changed, the by-laws are determined by the corporation itself.
  • A community corporation’s initial bylaws are constructed by the developer’s conveyancer or legal practitioner when the group is lodged as a plan with the Lands Titles Officer.
  • The by-laws can be amended by the Corporation.

– Examine the bylaws when buying a community-titled property, especially when buying ‘off the plan’.
– Bylaws may prevent you from changing or adding features to your property.  

Officer & Committee Member Training
  • Most office bearers do not understand the responsibilities and rights related to their body corporate committee roles.
  • Provide periodic governance training for your management committee officers and members
  • Include the cost in your community corporation budgets
Office Bearers

A community corporation must have a:

Presiding Officer, Secretary and Treasurer

  • All are appointed at a general meeting
  • All must be members of the corporation
  • One person may hold two or more of these positions depending on the number of community lots in the community scheme.
  • In leaseback schemes the corporation may appoint non-members to these positions.

The Community Titles Act 1996 requires the community corporation to meet at least once a year to ensure the community scheme is adequately insured and to discuss other matters as required by the law.

A Body Corporate Manager can be engaged to assist in running the corporation’s affairs.

Presiding Officer’s Role
  • A community corporation must elect a presiding officer.
  • The presiding officer must be a lot holder.
  • The presiding officer’s role is to chair corporation meetings.
  • If the presiding officer is not present, another person at the meeting may be appointed to chair that meeting.
Secretary’s Role
  1. Convene (arrange) corporation or management committee (MC) meetings
  2. Prepare and distribute minutes of MC or corporation meetings
  3. At MC or corporation meetings, submit a motion for confirmation of the corporation’s last meeting’s minutes.
  4. Give the notices that the Act requires members of the corporation and the management committee to give
  5. Deal with the administrative and secretarial matters of the corporation and management committee
  6. Answer communications addressed to the corporation.

[Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 1X(1)]:

Record Keeping and Communication

Ensure all communication and records are accessible by all committee members.

You can use a cloud application like Base Camp to manage your body corporate emails & records including:

  • Committee Meeting Minutes
  • Invoices and financial records
  • Annual Budgets
  • By-laws and encumbrances (if any)
  • Sinking Fund and Maintenance Plans
  • Building Plans
  • Electrical wiring and lighting specs

BodyCorp2X173@gmail.com

    Create a committee email address for easier record keeping of emails between:

    • Committee & owners
    • Committee members
    • Committee and BCM
    Body Corporate Record Keeping

    The strata corporation has a responsibility to maintain proper records, including:

    • A register of the names of the unit holders
      (showing the unit holder’s last contact address, telephone number and email address known to the corporation, and the unit holder’s unit entitlement) for 7 years [Strata Titles Act 1988(SA) s 39A(2); Strata Titles Regulations 2018(SA) reg 29];
    • Minutes of general meetings and management committee meetings [s 40]
    • Minutes must be kept for 30 years [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 35(8)])   [Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 30](a)];
    Body Corporate Records
    • Notices and orders served on the corporation for 7 years
      [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 40; Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 30(d)];
    • Copies of correspondence received or sent by the corporation for 7 years
      [reg 30(e)];
    • Notices of meetings of the corporation and its management committee for 7 years
      [reg 30(f)];
    • Documents received by the strata corporation from the original registered proprietor [s 38(3)(b) and (c)] for 30 years [reg 30(g)].
    • Accounting records

    • Keep records relating to receipts and expenditure of the corporation [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 40] and the management committee [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 35(8)])

    • It must ensure that a ‘statement of accounts’ is prepared for each accounting period [s 40] and keep those statements and the accounting records for 7 years [reg 30(c)].

    Body Corporate Budgets

    The Management Committee must create and approve a budget for the coming year.  It can draw on last year’s budget and expenses as an example, but also needs to consider:

    o All predicted short and long term expenses

    o Contingencies for non predicted  expenses

    o 3, 5 (or even 10) year maintenance and renewal plans are needed if there are over xxx lots .

    To ensure long term expenses are equitably paid for by past, current and future unit holders, the sinking fund needs to be built up over a long-term lead-in period, not left until a big ticket item occurs. 

    Forward Budgets - Sinking funds

    For corporations with seven to twenty lots, and with improvements on the common property insured for $100 000 or more, a forward budget must be presented at each annual general meeting, as part of the expenditure statement.

    The forward budget must include proposed expenditure (other than recurrent expenditure) for a 3-year period.
    New information must be presented about proposed non-recurrent expenditure every three years. [s 113(1)(aa), reg 18A].

    For corporations with more than twenty units, and with improvements on the common property insured for $100 000 or more, the forward budget presented at each annual general meeting must include proposed expenditure (other than recurrent expenditure) for a 5-year period.

    New information must be presented about proposed non-recurrent expenditure every 5 years. [s 113(1)(aa), reg 18A]

    Treasurer’s Role

    The strata corporation Treasurer must:

    • Notify unit holders of any contributions to be raised from them in accordance with the Act;
    • Receive, acknowledge, bank and account for any money paid to the corporation; and
    • Keep accounting records and prepare financial statements.

    [Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 10(2)]:

    Body Corporate Budgets
    • The Management Committee sets the budget and levies required to meet the budgeted costs
    • The Management Committee is required to develop and approve a Maintenance Plan
    • The budget needs to cover:
      – known and predicted management and maintenance costs
      – expected rises in ongoing costs for the coming budget year
    • The management committee can’t just use last year’s budget or accept a budget provided by a previous management committee or strata manager
    Body Corporate Budgets Income Example budget format

    You need to calculate your own figures. Care needs to be taken in drawing up your specific budget. See the examples given below.

    Body Corporate Budgets Recurrent Expenses Example budget format

    The examples below indicate (example only) budget figures for a range of body corporates.
    Care needs to be taken in drawing up your specific budget.

    Body Corporate Budgets Common Property Expenses Example budget format

    The examples below indicate (example only) budget figures for a range of body corporates.
    Care needs to be taken in drawing up your specific budget.

     

    1-22 units Example Budget

    2-8 Units Example Budget

    3-8 Example Budget

    4-4 Units Example Budget

    5-42 Units Example Budget

    Decision Making
    • Decisions should be made in meetings and according to meeting agendas,
      not by individuals, outside proper meetings, or on the run.
    • The committee needs to be well informed and active in making the decisions for which it is responsible.
    • Decisions are best made within a plan and a budget, not as independent items.
      i.e Make decisions according to principles and the common long-term good, not to please just one person, or the people making the most noise.
    • Decisions should take unitholders special circumstances into account, as long as this does not cause concern for others.
    • But, don’t set unrealisable precedents that will affect future decisions.
    Occupiers and Non Occupiers Participation
    • A Body Corporate committee is elected by the lot holders at each Annual General Meeting to manage the Corporation of their behalf until the next AGM.
    • Owners, whether or not they are the occupants of their units are eligible for election and have the right of committee consideration of Body Corporate issues or actions that interest or concern them.
    • Tenants have no rights to election and are not entitled to seek Body Corporate action, except where the landlord unit owner agrees to act on their behalf.
    How do we deal with unit holders / owners who don’t want to be involved in the Body Corporate Management?

    The committee needs to take action to ensure good communication with unit holders.
    It’s not always easy to get them involved.

    Here’s some hints:
    Set up a way of communicating with unit holders.  Provide a single email address for all communication, such as CommitteeBC31232@gmail.com  
    For general communication use a private Facebook page or an app like Slack, or Basecamp. Free versions are usually sufficient.

    With an agreed way of communicating between Committee Members and with unit holders you can:
    –    Send newsletters about committee decisions. Include information from each meeting’s minutes,
          but don’t send minutes. They belong to the committee.

    -Request agenda items for Committee meetings

    -Provide notices of committee meetings and General Meetings

    -Remind people of due dates for levies

    -Circulate documents to committee members and unit holders.

    What is the renter (tenant) relationship with the Committee of Management?

    What is the relationship between renters (tenants of unitholders) and the Committee of Management?

    Annual and Special Meetings
    • Required under the Act (Link to an example AGM agenda)
    • What if we can’t get people to attend?
    • Can we hold meetings electronically – phone/zoom etc?
    • How does Proxy voting work?
    • How do we hold elections?
    • Can committee members stay the same without elections?
    • What if we don’t get a Quorum?
      Where do Body Corporate Managers fit with the Committee of Management?
      • How do I choose the best Strata Manager?
      • See how your current Body Corporate Manager compares to expectations using the UnitCare checklist

      http://www.unitcare.com.au/checklists.html

      Body Corporate Manager as Presiding Officer
      • If it is proposed that the corporation’s Body Corporate Manager, or an employee of the Strata Manager, will chair a meeting of the corporation, a majority of those present and entitled to vote must agree to this. [s 33(9)]
      • The manager must inform the meeting, before any vote is taken, of any proxies the manager holds for the meeting, and that the proxies are available for inspection
      • The Body Corporate Manager may only vote on the question of who is to chair the meeting if the Body Corporate Manager holds proxies specifically allowing them to vote on this.
      • He or she has no right to prevent any member from moving or voting on any question or motion.

      [Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 15(3)]

      (Sect 83 Community Titles Act)

      BC Manager & Management Committee Relationships
      • Do we need a Body Corporate Management Company?
      • What can BC Managers do? (See the Check list)
      • If employed, what are the essential services BCM’s must provide?
      • What additional or optional services can a body corporate ask from a BC Manager?
      What Services should we expect of a Body Corporate Manager ?

      Financial Management

      BC Manager takes care of all financial matters:

      • Collects maintenance contributions, banks (into a trust account) and records contributions, levies, interest and other amounts due to the Corporation.
      • Pays accounts and outgoings.
      • Sends notices levying maintenance or other contributions.
      • Acts as the public officer of the Body Corporate for taxation purposes;
      • Prepares the Corporation’s annual Statement of Accounts and have the Trust Account audited annually.

      Financial Information Provision by Body Corporate Manager

      • Monthly or quarterly Corporation Financial Report and Activity Reports to the Treasurer
      • Financial and Activity Reports to all owners annually.
      • Annual Audit Report to the Treasurer prior to the AGM.

      Meeting Support

      • Arranges meetings and prepares and distributes notices, budgets and agendas.
      • Attends and assists the Presiding Officer & Secretary in the conduct of meetings.
      • Provides meeting minutes in good time.

      Mediation

      • Assists in resolving disputes
      What other Body Corporate Manager Services should we expect?

      Maintenance Management

      • Advise and arrange for the maintenance, repair and replacement of common property.
      • Provide all-hours access to emergency maintenance.
      • Organise emergency maintenance works.
      • Pay maintenance accounts

      Insurance advice and management

      • Review, place and renew insurances.
      • Arrange a building valuation.
      • Have any claim promptly processed.

      Secretarial support

      • Promptly deal with Corporation correspondence and requests for Search Statements.
      • Regularly inform the Presiding Officer of the nature and importance of all correspondence.
      • Keep Corporation records secure and confidential.
      • Electronically archive Corporation records.

      A contract will describe Body Corporate Manager agreed services.

      How well is your Corporation doing?

      Can you confidently say?

      √ Our Common Property Title is in a safe place

      √ We have a current copy of the Strata Titles Act

      √ Our buildings are insured for their full replacement cost

      √ All sheds, skylights, air-conditioners and pergolas on the property are approved and legal

      √ We are looking after our assets by maintaining the buildings and common property in good repair

      √ Our budget is up to date and allows for some unexpected items

      √ We have a reserve / sinking fund for the large jobs, such as painting, gutters or driveways

      √ We have had an annual general meeting in the past 15 months

      √ We have a Presiding Officer, Treasurer and Secretary

      √ Our elected officer bearers know their duties and liabilities

      √ Our officer bearers are covered by liability insurance

      √ Our Corporation helps resolve disputes between members, or with
       tenants

      √ We have a system of sharing information amongst our committee
       and strata manager

      √ We keep all our members up to date and well informed

      √ We welcome new members, providing information on their rights
       and responsibilities

      What Communication should we have with our Body Corporate Manager

      We should communicate about

      –   Meetings                –   Agendas

      –   Record keeping     –   Budgets

      –   Maintenance

      When?

      -When you have questions or concerns

      -In time to put items on meeting agendas

      Phone if urgent, otherwise use emails.
      (Keeping records of phone calls and emails is important)

      Selecting a Body Corporate Manager

      Have they provided the required explanatory pamphlet;

      Your Body Corporate Manager’s performance?

      Does your Body Corprate Manager provide:

      • Written report to all owners on all activities and works undertaken for your group
      • Your treasurer with monthly financial statements to keep your group up-to-date
      • Skilled help to resolve disputes
      • Easy payment of levies by whatever suits you (BPay, Cheque, Bank Deposit, Credit Cards.)
      • After-hours emergency services
      • Attendance at your group as needed?

      Is your Body Corporate Manager a member of the Real Estate Institute (REI) of South Australia?

      The REI can assist with any disputes that you have with an REI member BCM

      Assessing Your BC Manager’s performance?

      Do they also provide;

      • Trained managers to ensure you get the best advice
      • A money-back trial so your group can try them out
      • A continuing money back performance guarantee to return phone calls promptly
      • Guarantee that jobs will be done on time
      • References from current clients that you can check with
      • Access to contractors with insurance cover to prevent you being sued if injuries happen
      • Disclosure about commissions (if any) received from their recommended maintenance contractors
      • Proof of professional indemnity insurance in case they make mistakes costing you money
      • A contract clearly explaining services included in the fee, and any contract termination arrangements.