Keeping Your Home Super Clean

Answering Some Commonly Asked Questions About Body Corporate Management

by Jordan Horton

When a group of people are all legal owners of a property, such as an apartment complex or office complex, they are called a body corporate. It is their responsibility, as a group, to maintain that property and ensure it's safe and up to all local building codes. Many such groups hire a body corporate management company, or body corporate manager; this is a company or individual who manages many of these needed tasks for them. Note a few questions you might have about such a person or company, so you know when they might be hired to assist with property you co-own.

Does a body corporate manager handle the care of the grounds and building?

A body corporate management company rarely does any maintenance or upkeep themselves; instead, they may coordinate this work with another company, ensuring that landscapers, maintenance workers, cleaners, and other such professionals know what need to be done and are handling this work appropriately. A body corporate management company will also typically handle the receipt and payment of invoices from these outside contractors, and will communicate any complaints and negotiate pricing for added work, as needed.

Can the body corporate manager make decisions for the owners?

A body corporate manager may be given some limited decision making powers; for example, the owners may allow them to decide on the landscaping company that is to be hired, and may allow them to terminate a contract with such outside contractors when necessary. However, these decision-making powers are limited to what the owners decide, and the body corporate management company may not be legally allowed to make certain decisions on their own, such as raising ownership fees. The law will often dictate that certain decisions need to be made by the group of owners themselves; discuss this with an attorney if you and other co-owners want to assign certain decision-making powers to the body corporate manager.

To whom does the body corporate manager answer?

The body corporate manager answers to the group of owners together; even if the owners have someone they have designated to communicate their decisions, the body corporate manager is not the assistant to this person is particular, and always needs to carry out their responsibilities as dictated by the owners. For example, the owners may decide on a certain budget for maintenance, and the body corporate manager will follow that budget, even if one owner or individual wants to set it aside. If you're unsure of how to liaison with a body corporate manager, discuss this with an attorney and the body corporate manager.