Owners corporations must maintain common areas. The corporation’s powers may be delegated to a manager or chair or secretary. It may lease or licence parts of the common property. Prospective buyers must receive owners corporation certificates. Two-lot subdivisions are exempt from many of the requirements. The subdivision plan decides the boundaries for who pays for repairs. Implied easements restrict what owners may add to the building. Reinstatement and replacement insurance is required for shared services. Annual general meetings must not be more than 15 months apart and matters to cover are set by law. Un-financial lot owners are ineligible to vote. Power of attorney can only be held by a family member of a lot owner. The dispute resolution provisions of the Owners Corporations Act 2006 (Vic) are complex. Complainants may seek conciliation or mediation from Consumer Affairs Victoria. VCAT may determine disputes.


Norman Mermelstein

REIV Accredited Owners Corporation Specialist

Neville Sanders

REIV Accredited Owners Corporation Specialist

What is an owners corporation?

Last updated

1 July 2022

The registration of a plan of subdivision in a complex – an industrial, commercial, retail, residential or combined-use complex – automatically creates an ‘owners corporation’ (previously known as a ‘body corporate’).

An owners corporation can be created if the plan of subdivision has common property or not. If the plan does not have common property, it usually contains common services. A plan of subdivision may also state that owners of all or some of the lots must be members of the owners corporation.

An owners corporation that manages common property with specified limitations is known as a ‘limited owners corporation’. An unlimited owners corporation manages the land affected by the owners corporation, except the use of common property affected by a limited owners corporation. All lot owners are members of the unlimited owners corporation.

Common property is held by the registered owners of individual lots as tenants in common and usually includes gardens, walkways, foyers, storage areas, elevators, stairs, driveways, and communal facilities such as gymnasiums, swimming pools, recreational areas, meeting rooms and air space.

An owners corporation has statutory rights and obligations for:

  • the welfare and maintenance of the common property; and
  • the owners and tenants who have a legal interest.

This chapter focuses on the rights and responsibilities of people working and living in these communities and the dispute resolution processes that are available.

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