Living Strata Brisbane | Body Corporate/Strata Management Queensland

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Body Corporate Manager's role?

A Body Corporate Manager is a person or corporation who is appointed pursuant to the  relevant Body Corporate Act with the power to perform certain duties and functions of the Body  Corporate and the Committee as are delegated to it in an agreement. The primary responsibilities delegated to a Body Corporate Manager are the duties of the secretary and  treasurer. These include:

Secretarial 

  • Convene and attend the Annual General Meeting (up to two hours);
  • Prepare financial statements together with financial analysis for each Committee Meeting;
  • Call nominations for the position of executive and ordinary members of the Committee;
  • Prepare and distribute Annual General Meeting notices;
  • Record and distribute Annual General Meeting minutes;


Financial

  • Open, maintain and operate a bank account for the Administrative and Sinking Funds;
  • Keeping of accounts and books for the scheme;
  • Organisation of the books and accounts for Audit purposes;
  • Lodgement of Tax Returns with a registered Tax Agent;
  • Prepare a statement of accounts for each financial year;
  • Prepare draft budgets;
  • Issue levy and other contribution notices;
  • Receipt and depositing of Body Corporate levies;
  • Process and payment of invoices and accounts;
  • Monitor credit control.


Administrative

  • Make available the records for inspection;
  • Establish and maintain the roll and registers;
  • Pay insurance premiums, lodge insurance claims and call for insurance quotations when instructed;
  • Maintain the Body Corporate Common Seal and affix as per legislative requirements;
  • Answer all communication and correspondence addressed to the Body Corporate.

Isn't Living Strata Pty LTD the Body Corporate?

No, you the owners make up the Body Corporate. Living Strata Pty Ltd is your Body Corporate Manager. Our role is to work with your Committee to ensure that your community runs smoothly in accordance with the Act and regulations that apply to your scheme.

I need to change my address, what do you require?

The legislation requires that all address changes must be notified in writing. This is the responsibility of the owner and can be in one of two ways:

Via the Online Form

Further Options

The following information is required:

  • Community Name
  • CTS Number
  • Full name(s) of owner(s)
  • Lot Number
  • New mailing address for correspondence, notices minutes
  • New mailing address for contribution notices if different to the above
  • Telephone Number
  • Email Address
  • Date
  • Signature

Written communication assists in ensuring that correct details are recorded.

What is a Form 8 and can you chase it up with my solicitor?

A Form 8 is an information form to amend the Body Corporate Roll. The form is obtained from your solicitor at the time of settlement.

This form is required to amend the Body Corporate records to reflect your ownership and is to be completed by the purchaser/s with the relevant details regarding date of transfer of ownership, the name/s or entity that the lot is held in and the address for service of notice (where your contributions and correspondence is to be sent).

The legislation requires that the purchaser is to provide this information in writing to the Cody Corporate. Your solicitor or conveyancer should be able to assist in this matter.

Why have you not changed my address?

In the case of a transfer of ownership, it is the lot owner's responsibility to ensure their correct address and details are registered with their Body Corporate. This is usually provided by the new lot owner's solicitor.

Where changes occur to a lot owner's details, it still remains the lot owner's responsibility to keep their ownership records up to date with the changes advised promptly to their Body Corporate. Information relating to a change in an owner's details supplied to a Council, Letting Agent or other entity does not automatically pass to the Body Corporate.

What is the difference between the Administration Fund, Sinking Fund and Insurance Contributions?

Administrative Fund contribution entitlements The Administrative Fund covers expenditure required to cover the cost of the daily running and general maintenance of the common property and Body Corporate assets. This includes all repairs and maintenance that would occur to buildings, plant and equipment, electrical, gardens and grounds, pools, etc. (This applies if it is a Building Format Plan). It would also include contracted fees, such as caretaking fees which are for the building manager to clean and maintain parts of the common property as per the caretaking agreement, a lift maintenance contract and contract for body corporate management. It would also include community power for the running of pumps, lights, lifts etc. If the Body Corporate is a lot in another scheme the Administrative Fund will also include contributions to the other scheme's Administrative and Sinking Funds.

Sinking Fund contribution entitlements This is a separate fund to the Administrative Fund. The amount owners contribute is based on a Sinking Fund Forecast. A Sinking Fund Forecast is usually prepared by a quantity surveyor. It is a 10 year forecast of major expenditure, which covers such items as painting the common property (including the exterior of the building), major repairs and refurbishment to lift cars, and other common property items. These items are considered as capital, or non-recurring major expenditure, and therefore need to be contributed to by all owners over a period of time. Your individual contribution to the Administrative Fund and Sinking Fund is based on your lot's contribution entitlement and is used to calculate Administrative and Sinking Fund contributions as well as the lot's share of utility charges not able to be measured.

Insurance Contribution interest entitlements The "Insurance Reimbursement "is a separate payment for paying the building replacement and reinstatement insurance premium. Although, in most instances the insurance premium will be included in the Administrative Fund Budget, some Bodies Corporate are required to have it as a separate amount when the lots in the scheme have varying interest entitlements. If applicable to your Body Corporate, your individual contribution to the Insurance Reimbursement is based on your lot's interest entitlement. Interest entitlements are also used to calculate the unimproved value of the lot and for the purpose of calculating local government rates and charges. Bodies Corporate are usually titled in one of two ways, as a Building Format Plan or as a Standard Format Plan. As a Building Format Plan, the body corporate is responsible for the insurance of the building and the common property. As a Standard Format Plan, the body corporate is responsible for insuring common property only. In this instance, individual residences are the responsibility of the owners. In a Standard Format Plan, common property would include any gates, light poles and infrastructure which could be damaged or need replacing under an insurance claim. The cost towards the Public Liability and Office Bearer's Liability portion of the premium is always included in the Administrative Fund.

What is a contribution notice for?

A Contribution Notice will be received if you are a lot owner in a Body Corporate.

Contributions are the Body Corporate levies paid by the owners to provide the Body Corporate with the funds to operate and maintain the common property. The amount and the frequency of the contributions required to properly run the Body Corporate are decided by your Committee in order to maintain your scheme. The budget is proposed by the Committee and submitted for all owners to vote on at the Annual General Meeting each year.

How are contributions calculated?

Contributions are set and based on the financial situation and commitments of the  Body Corporate and may vary from one Body Corporate to another. Budgets are adopted at a  General Meeting of the Body Corporate at which time the contributions and dates for payment  are also determined. All owners are sent a voting paper to vote on these motions prior to the  meeting. Each owner's contribution is based on their contribution entitlement and, if applicable, interest entitlements which is each owners percentage of the whole for the scheme.

What do our Body Corporate fees cover (where do our payments go)?

Your contribution is pooled with other owners' payments to maintain your scheme and common areas to meet regular expenses such as:

  • Electricity
  • Building Manager (if applicable)
  • Administration (Living Strata typically 10% or less)
  • Insurance, including public liability
  • Gardens and pool (if applicable)
  • General maintenance and repairs
  • Fire equipment
  • Security
  • Lift (if applicable)
  • Sinking Fund for items of a capital nature

Where does my money go?

Your money is deposited into your Body Corporates own bank account controlled by your Committee and spent in accordance with the budget approved by your Committee and adopted by all owners at the Annual General Meeting each year.

Why are our contributions increased in periods 3 and 4?

The 1st and 2nd periods are adopted at the previous year's Annual General Meeting  and levied based on the previous year's budget. These pre-issues are deducted from the new financial year's budget and will include an increase, (usually CPI) or based on expenditure. The  3rd and sometimes 4th levies will be the balance of the new budget for the financial year adopted at the Annual General Meeting.

Why does Living Strata Pty Ltd collect our money?

Your Committee has appointed Living Strata to help manage your Body Corporates administration, including collection of the contributions.

Why have Living Strata Pty Ltd increased the Body Corporate fees?

It is not Living Strata Pty Ltd who make the decision to increase Body Corporate fees.  Living Strata Pty Ltd is not a voting member of your scheme. This decision is made by you, the  owners. The motion to increase your contribution is determined by the budget put forward by  your Committee, and included in your Annual General Meeting Notice. The motion to adopt the  budget and contributions is voted upon at your Annual General Meting and recorded in the  minutes of the meeting. These minutes are then circulated to owners by Living Strata Pty Ltd.

What happens if my account is in arrears?

Without contribution payments, your community cannot meet its financial commitments for essential maintenance and services.

Your Body Corporate is entitled to institute recovery action and, after a certain period of time, is required by the Act to institute action to recover any payment in arrears, including interest accrued and reasonable costs involved in recovery of the overdue contributions. Additional costs are incurred by your Cody Corporate in recovering late payments as budgets are calculated only on funds required to maintain the common property and meet its contracted commitments.

What is an Arrears Notice?

An arrears notice is forwarded when your Body Corporate has not received payment for your Body Corporate fees (usually) from the previous period/s due date. This arrears notice is sent out under authorisation of your Committee. Dates for payment of contributions are set out in the minutes of your Annual General Meeting forwarded to you each year.

How do I apply to have my discount re-instated?

You will need to submit a written request to have the discount re-instated and provide a reason as to why. Please send your request to Living Strata Pty Ltd who will forward it onto the Committee for consideration.

Why have I been charged legal fees/interest etc?

As your contribution notice was not paid by the due date stated in the notice, and has remained unpaid, Living Strata Pty Ltd  would have been instructed by your Committee or by majority decision at an Annual General Meeting to instigate legal action to recover outstanding contributions, interest, solicitors fees etc. These are additional fees incurred over and above the budget adopted at the Annual General Meeting by the Body Corporate.

Why did I not receive my notice to pay my contributions?

All purchasers, upon acquisition of their lot should have been made aware by their solicitor, through disclosure material supplied, of the contribution amounts and dates upon which they are due and payable. The legislation sets out that it is the lot owner's responsibility to ensure that the address held by Living Strata Pty Ltd is correct. Any change of address must be sent to Living Strata Pty Ltd in writing.

Can you email all contribution notices to me in the future?

Yes, we can. Please complete the "Request to Change Roll Details" form on this page.

Can you send me more than one copy of my contribution notice, as I want to pass on to (whomever) to pay in my absence?

As long as you have access to the internet anywhere in the world, you can also log in  securely via the StrataMax Portal, using your unique lot owner's login and password to check  your balance and account and pay your contributions. Alternatively, you may set up an email  address to receive your notice and select another person to receive your notice by mail.

We’ve just had a Workplace Health and Safety Report. Are we legally obliged to have the items mentioned in it rectified?

Yes. This has to be attended to so that your Body Corporate complies with Workplace  Health and Safety Regulations and carries out its responsibility of maintaining common  property. The WH&S Act requires the Committee and Body Corporate to ensure that the  common property is a safe environment. There can be penalties for non compliance in the case  of injuries registered with the Regulator.

12/688 Sandgate Rd Clayfield QLD 4011

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