Reframing Body Corporates

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“Did you have a good weekend, or do you own a home?” 

That’s a phrase often quoted to homeowners – particularly of the older, villa style with their big sections. The yearly maintenance can be all-consuming, not to mention exhausting. When you add up all the gardening, repairs and painting, the costs can easily run into thousands and more.

But when you buy a new apartment, you’re investing in a more maintenance-free lifestyle. You can say goodbye to the lawnmower and the ladder. That’s because your Body Corp takes care of the common maintenance, gardening and general upkeep of the property as well as the building insurance.

So, what is a Body Corp?

In short, it’s a legal collective of the apartment owners who have a say on how the block of apartments is run and maintained.  With Fletcher Living, this is initially set up by the parent company Fletcher Residential Limited.  Following settlement, the new owners join the Body Corp and setup a committee.

Your personal building manager

One of the many benefits of a Body Corp is the appointment of a building manager.  This manager takes care of any building operations or repair work on-site and also manages the day-to-day operations – like cleaning the common areas, gardening and rubbish collection. The building manager doesn’t live in the apartment building but is always on call to overcome any problems or issues with the building that might arise.

Long term maintenance

Just like normal home ownership, a Body Corp needs to plan for long-term maintenance. We know, for example, that an average paint cycle is 7 years – and a roof can be 20 years.  So, it’s important to put money aside every year, to cover those upcoming expenses.  Your Body Corp, by law, needs to set funds aside in a Long Term Maintenance Fund – sometimes called a Sinking Fund. Because it's a legal requirement, there will always be some money there – a discipline you might not have as an individual homeowner. Tropical holidays are so tempting, after all.

No DIY nightmares

Because the Body Corp is looking after all the common areas and important facilities like lifts, safety and security systems, like fire alarms and door access, you can be sure they’ll be maintained and serviced by professionals.

If one of the apartment owners wants to do some major remodeling, they also need to get approval from the Body Corp. Of course, none of this prevents you from adding your personal touches inside your apartment. You can still pick up a paint brush…if you really insist.

Not your worry.

Perhaps the greatest thing about a Body Corp, is all those things that consume your energy in a freehold home are gone. You don’t have to worry about watering the garden, doing hedges, clearing gutters - those are all taken care of.  So you have more time to get out, to explore, to lock up and leave, knowing that the Body Corp has all the hard work covered.

Lower rates. More convenience.

While apartment owners generally pay lower rates than freehold homes, the addition of a Body Corp fee can make the yearly bill slightly more expensive. But it covers many items you’ll be spending money on anyway – like house insurance (you still pay your contents insurance), maintenance, gardening, cleaning, windows, rubbish collection and more. The difference comes down to convenience and how much you value your own time and freedom.  Perhaps Body Corp should really be called - Body Rest


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