If you are buying an apartment – whether to rent or to live in – you will become a member of the body corporate: an entity made up of all the unit owners.
According to the government’s Building and Housing website, the body corporate has “perpetual succession”, meaning it continues to exist independently of changes in membership. Membership goes automatically to the new unit owner if the apartment is sold.
Building managers and body corporate managers are often employed to carry out some of the body corporate’s responsibilities but are not actual members.
What does it do?
The body corporate is responsible for the management, financial, and administrative functions of the common property – the land, the overall building – and to the development in general. This is why you as a unit owner become a member.
Under the Unit Titles Act 2010, the body corporate has the following key powers and duties:
- Ownership of the common property
- Management – including repairs and maintenance – of the common building and any associated infrastructure
- Establishment and management of a long-term maintenance plan
- Maintenance of a register of all unit owners
- General meetings of the body corporate
- Recording accurate financial statements
- Insurance of the development and common property
- levying contributions on owners to fund the operation of the body corporate
- providing documents to unit owners, such as financial statements, meeting minutes and insurance details
- making and enforcing the body corporate operational rules.
Setting up a new body corporate
If you have just bought an apartment in a new building, there are a few things you should be aware of regarding the body corporate:
- The first body AGM must take place as soon as possible and within 6 months of the date the unit plan was deposited or the first unit was sold
- A chairperson must be elected at the first AGM
- When developer has sold enough units that they no longer have control over the development, they must give the body corporate notice of that fact and call a meeting. At that meeting, the developer must provide the body corporate with a turn-over disclosure statement and disclose any interest they have in contracts made by the body corporate.
The body corporate exists to protect unit owners and to help them fulfill their legal obligations with regards to a common building. The team at Apartment Experts ensures they know the state of the body corporate for apartments they sell – and can help answer any questions you may have. Contact them today.
For more information about regulations around body corporate: http://www.dbh.govt.nz/unit-titles-body-corp-an-intro