Owners corporations

Information on this page:

Owners of flats, apartments or units are usually members of an owners corporation, previously known as a 'body corporate'. All bodies corporate became owners corporations on 31 December 2007, when the Owners Corporations Act 2006 took effect.

Land Use Victoria registers and records owners corporation applications received either with the plan of subdivision or separately. Consumer Affairs Victoria is the governing body for all other owners corporation matters.

All owners corporations have statutory duties and powers set out in the Owners Corporation Act 2006.

When land or buildings are subdivided, it is often necessary to provide for shared ownership of walls, services, driveways or common property. Owners corporations manage all these assets in residential, commercial, retail or mixed use developments.

If land or part of a building is set aside for common property or creates shared services in a plan of subdivision, an owners corporation must be created.

A person who owns property in an owners corporation automatically becomes a member of that owners corporation and as a member, has legal and financial responsibilities to the owners corporation.

Lodging a plan of subdivision at Land Use Victoria with an owners corporation

A plan of subdivision lodged at Land Use Victoria may create a single owners corporation or multiple owners corporations. An owners corporation sets out the responsibilities for the maintenance and administration of the land affected by that owners corporation.

Any notations or responsibilities set out in the owners corporation additional information document must be identical to those set out on the certified plan.

Go to the forms, guides and fees webpage for guides and the material required for lodgement at Land Use Victoria in relation to:

  • unlimited owners corporation
  • limited owners corporation
  • limited to common property
  • overlapping owners corporations
  • notification of change of address
  • notification of alteration to owners corporation
  • checklists required for owners corporations and subdivision lodgements

More information on owners corporations can be found at Consumer Affairs Victoria. Topics covered include insurance, rules and meetings, complaints and disputes, and resolutions or decision making issues.

To track subdivision plans and owners corporation dealings from lodgement to registration, go to the LANDATA website.

Lot entitlements and lot liabilities

Responsibilities are set out in the plan of subdivision and usually spread among the property owners based on lot entitlements and lot liabilities.

  • Lot entitlement refers to a lot owner's share of ownership of the common property and determines voting rights.
  • Lot liability represents the share of owners corporation expenses that each lot owner is required to pay. 

Refer to Your guide to lodging an accompanying document for a limited or unlimited owners corporation. These entitlements and liabilities are determined by the developer in conjunction with the licensed surveyor before lodgement at Land Use Victoria.

Which owners corporation form do I need?

If you are having trouble deciding which owners corporation form to lodge with your subdivision, please refer to the owners corporation schedule attached to the certified Plan of Subdivision. Further information is available from a licensed surveyor or Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Common property

Common property includes any parts of the land, buildings and airspace that are not lots, roads or reserves on the plan of subdivision. It may include gardens, passages, walls, pathways, driveways, stairs, lifts, foyers and fences. Floor coverings and fixtures within a lot are usually the property of the lot owner.

The common property is collectively owned by the lot owners.

Unlimited owners corporation

The functions and powers of an unlimited owners corporation relate to the maintenance and administration of common property and/or common services.

Limited owners corporation

Owners corporations may be limited or limited to common property. The limitations that apply to a limited owners corporation are set out on documents referred to in the Owners Corporation Search Report. Functions or obligations of a limited owners corporation may be carried out or complied with by an unlimited owners corporation.

Multiple owners corporations

These are most common in large, multistorey buildings, commercial properties, or developments that combine residential and non-residential lots.

Properties with more than one owners corporation will usually have an unlimited owners corporation, which owns the common property or one or more limited owners corporations, and may apply to only some of the lots.

Multiple owners corporations give groups of lot owners access to and responsibility for certain parts of the common property.

Rules

All owners corporations have rules for the control, management, use of common property and lots. The rules cover day-to-day issues such as parking and noise.

If an owners corporation does not make its own rules, a set of model rules outlined in the Owners Corporations Regulations 2007 (Schedule 2) applies.

If an owners corporation is making its own rules, they must be registered with Land Use Victoria.  Otherwise the rules are not enforceable and the model rules will apply.

Further advice

A licensed surveyor, solicitor or conveyancer familiar with subdivisions containing owners corporation(s) can advise you on how to lodge dealings that affect owners corporations or alter common property.

Useful contacts

Consumer Affairs Victoria (www.consumer.vic.gov.au)
Telephone: 1300 558 181

Real Estate Institute of Victoria (www.reiv.com.au)
Telephone: (03) 9205 6666

Land Use Victoria (www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/property)
Telephone: (03) 8636 2010

LANDATA (www.landata.vic.gov.au)
Telephone: (03) 8636 2456

Law Institute of Victoria (www.liv.asn.au)
Telephone: (03) 9960 7931

Page last reviewed on 31 October 2016

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