Multiple owners corporations

Skip listen and sharing tools

On this page:

Why have multiple owners corporations?

Some developments have several owners corporations (formerly body corporate) to help lot owners share rights, responsibilities and costs. This is common in subdivisions that have a mix of homes, shops and industry within the one complex.

Multiple owners corporations are used to give groups of lot owners access to and responsibility for certain parts of the property. For example:

A person buys a ground floor unit in a multistorey building. The title includes off-street parking.

As a lot owner, this person will be a member of the owners corporation. They may also be a member of the owners corporation responsible for the parking spaces, but not a member of the owners corporations responsible for the lifts.

Unlimited and limited owners corporations

Unlimited and limited owners corporations are defined in sections 27B and 27C of the Subdivision Act 1988 respectively (see Related Information below).

Properties with multiple owners corporations will usually have:

  • an unlimited owners corporation, which owns the common property, and
  • one or more limited owners corporations, which will apply to only some lots.

If you are a lot owner, you:

  • will be a member of one unlimited owners corporation, and
  • may belong to one or several limited owners corporations.

Limited owners corporations enable:

  • some lots to have exclusive use of common property
  • separate cost centres for the use of common property or services.

The unlimited owners corporation may also be a prescribed owners corporation, which has extra legal responsibilities.

To work out whether your unlimited owners corporation is prescribed, view our Prescribed owners corporations page.

For example, a plan of subdivision creates three owners corporations:

Lot type

Owners corporation No 1 (unlimited)

Owners corporation No 2 (unlimited)

Owners corporation No 3 (unlimited)

Residential

40

40

-

Commercial

10

-

10

Car parking

90

60

30

Storage

20

20

-

Total

160

120

40

Prescribed

Yes

Yes. Prescribed as part of Owners Corporation No 1.

Yes. Prescribed as part of Owners Corporation No. 1.

In this example, the whole development (Owners Corporation No 2 and Owners Corporation No 3 are also members of Owners Corporation No 1) must have a maintenance plan, audit financial statements and have the building valued for insurance purposes every five years.

The Subdivision Act 1988 enables the unlimited owners corporation (usually owners corporation No1) to take responsibility for the functions of the other owners corporations, such as issuing owners corporation certificates or enforcing rules. If your plan of subdivision has more than one owners corporation, you will need a special resolution of the unlimited and the limited owners corporation to do this.

Land Victoria requirements for multiple owners corporations

Land Victoria requires documents setting out the:

  • purpose of each owners corporation
  • allocation of lot liability and lot entitlement
  • functions and obligations of the limited owners corporation to be carried out by the unlimited owners corporation.

Documents about purpose

For a new plan of subdivision to be registered with Land Victoria, it must include a document defining the purpose of each owners corporation.

Below is a sample statement about the purpose of an unlimited owners corporation and limited owners corporations:

'The purpose of owners corporation No 1 PS12345 is to manage and administer the common services and maintain common property No 1 affected by the owners corporation No 1 PS 12345 (except the use and maintenance of any common property affected by a limited owners corporation).'

The purpose of owners corporation No 2 PS12345 is to manage and maintain common property No 2 and the common services with the land affected by owners corporation No 2 PS12345.'

The purpose of owners corporation No 3 is to manage and maintain the common property No 3 and common services with the land affected by owners corporation No 3 PS 12345.'

Functions and obligations of the unlimited owners corporation

Under the Subdivision Act 1988, the unlimited owners corporation can carry out specific powers and functions of limited owners corporations on its plan of subdivision.

This might include:

  • issuing of owners corporations certificates
  • keeping records and the owners corporation register
  • enforcing rules
  • complaints procedures
  • financial management
  • reporting requirements.

For a plan of subdivision with overlapping owners corporations, Land Victoria will require a document setting out how they will share functions and obligations. In most cases, it will be sufficient to state their functions and obligations to be carried or complied with by the unlimited owners corporation.

If they have all passed on the same functions and obligations, it may not be necessary to identify each owners corporation by name.

For example:

'The functions and obligations to be carried or complied with by the unlimited owners corporation are:

  1. issuing owners corporation certificates
  2. keeping the owners corporation register
  3. taking out insurance.'

If only some of the limited owners corporations have passed on the same functions and obligations, you must identify each owners corporation by number and name.

For example:

'Functions and obligations to be carried out or complied with on behalf of owners corporation No 2 PS12345 are:

  1. issuing owners corporation certificates
  2. keeping the owners corporation register, and
  3. taking out insurance.'

For further information, visit the Land Victoria website.