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.
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.