Owning an apartment or more than one in a body corporate has its share of advantages and demands. Body corporates can be very helpful, however, sometimes it can be a hindrance. It is difficult and also unfair to generalise or paint everyone with the same brush. Let us talk about the merits and pitfalls of a body corporate.
Body corporates are responsible for taking care of the entire building. All common or public places in the building would be attended to regularly. From cleaning to upkeep, repairs to replacement, troubleshooting during emergencies to ensuring that the electrical and plumbing infrastructure, gas and water supplies are not adversely affected, everything falls in the ambit of the body corporate. Hence, as an owner you can be completely aloof from all these chores. There could also be special body corporate policies whereby the apartments or different units are also maintained and all problems are attended to by onsite technicians – in these cases, be sure to understand your unit’s rules, policies and responsibilities. Body corporates can be useful in any type of residential building that have several units.
Body corporates may cause a dent in your revenue. You may have to pay a weekly, monthly or yearly fee. This fee can be as little as fifteen dollars a week to more than two hundred depending on the type of property and onsite facilities. Owners who don’t have tenants throughout the year, those who fail to get in new tenants and even those who cannot charge a substantial rent may make less profit. From this perspective, body corporates can be a hindrance. Also, the fees will most likely be increased every year and this would be regardless of whether or not your rental income increases proportionately.
Owner’s Role in a Body Corporate
Owners often detach themselves from all the nitty-gritty details when they invest in a body corporate. That is mostly where owners go wrong. You cannot stop reviewing the financials. You must read the terms, review the agreements timely and must put a foot down to take a stand when things are not acceptable. You should be involved in decision making and not let the body corporate decide everything. Don’t be a passive owner and don’t invest in any random body corporate without knowing what you are signing up for. If you are in the minority of owners or are singled out for differing views, then you may not be able to change anything.