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Records from the developer
An owners corporation (formerly body corporate) is required by law to keep certain records.
By law, the property developer or initial owner must give an owners corporation:
- a copy of the plan of subdivision and planning documents
- copies of any building contract and building plans
- the maintenance plan (prescribed owners corporations must have one and it is optional for other owners corporations)
- a copy of the:
- Owners Corporations Act 2006
- Owners Corporations Regulations 2007
- Subdivision Act 1988
- Subdivision (Procedure) Regulations 2000
- any contracts, leases and licences that bind or benefit the owners corporation
- any insurance policies relating to the owners corporation
- details of companies, tradespeople or suppliers who have provided a warranty or guarantee
- books to enable the owners corporation to keep minutes, accounts and other records
- any accounts or records made on behalf of the owners corporation
- any rules registered at Land Use Victoria.
Records your owners corporation should collect
An owner corporations must collect and keep:
- the full name and address of each lot owner
- a consolidated copy of the owners corporation’s rules
- minutes of meetings
- copies of resolutions
- records of the results of ballots
- voting papers or ballots
- accounting records
- records of assets and liabilities
- financial statements of income and expenditure
- income tax returns and GST records (goods and service tax records, if any) of the owners corporation
- insurance policies
- any maintenance plan
- any notices and orders served on the owners corporation by a court or tribunal
- any notices served by the owners corporation
- any contracts and agreements entered into by the owners corporation
- any leases and licences entered into by the owners corporation.
An owners corporation is required to keep records under the Owners Corporations Act 2006 and other laws, such as Commonwealth taxation laws and the Building Act 1993.
Other important records
Your owners corporation should also keep:
- copies of owners corporations certificates issued
- notices and agendas of meetings
- building permits
- building plans and specifications
- building contracts
- planning permits
- Section 173 agreements (Application to appoint an administrator)
- builders warranty insurance
- occupancy permits.
Owners corporation register
All owners corporations, except those with only two lots, must establish and maintain an owners corporation register.
Download our Sample owners corporation register (Word, 70KB).
What is the register?
The owners corporation register is a summary of its activities, undertakings and membership. It must include a hard copy or electronic record of the:
- owners corporation plan number and address
- name and address of each lot owner
- name, registration number and contact details of the manager (if there is one)
- lot liability and lot entitlements for each lot
- basis for setting of lot liability and lot entitlement (if available)
- date and details of each amendment to the owners corporation rules
- details of contracts, leases and licences entered into by the owners corporation
- details of insurance policies.
Establishing an owners corporation register
Documents required for the owners corporation register should already be part of the owners corporation’s records or set out on the plan of subdivision. You can get a copy of the plan of subdivision from Land Use Victoria. Visit the Land Use Victoria website.
The register must be easily accessible and available in English.
Access to the owners corporation register
An owners corporation register must be made available for inspection upon request to a:
- lot owner
- mortgagee of a lot
- buyer of a lot
- representative of a lot owner, mortgagee or buyer of a lot.
Download our Request to inspect owners corporation register and/or records (Word, 59KB).
An owners corporation:
- cannot charge people to inspect the records and register
- can charge a reasonable fee for copies of records. For a list of the fee limits, view our Fees - owners corporations page.
If your owners corporation votes to charge a fee, it should make rules about the amount, invoicing and payment.
Make sure the fee will cover costs; for example, the cost your manager may charge for supervising inspections of the register and records.
A fee that seeks to recover more than the actual cost may be unreasonable and in breach of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012.
To check the authenticity of the register, a lot owner or potential buyer inspecting the owners corporation register should ask:
- who prepared the owners corporation register?
- when was the register prepared?
- when was the register updated?
Owners corporation certificate
An owners corporation must issue an owners corporation certificate to any person within 10 business days of receiving a written request and the relevant fee payment.
There are maximum fees that can be charged for this service, and for meeting urgent requests within a set number of days. For a list of the fee limits, view our Fees - owners corporation page.
An owners corporation that wants to set a lower fee, or no fee at all, can determine this through its committee or an ordinary resolution at a general meeting. For more information, view our Voting and ballot guidelines - owners corporation page.
What an owners corporation certificate must include
The certificate must include:
- current quarterly or annual fees for the lot
- the date to which fees have been paid
- total unpaid fees or charges for the lot
- the date that special fees or levies were approved and the due date for payment
- details of repairs, maintenance or other work that may incur extra charges to those already budgeted or approved
- details of insurance cover
- whether the owners corporation has resolved that members may arrange their own insurance and the date of this decision
- a total of funds held by the owners corporation
- whether the owners corporation has any other liabilities in addition to those listed above, and the details of those liabilities
- details of any contracts, leases, licences or agreements affecting the common property
- details of any agreements to provide services to lot owners, occupiers or the public
- details of any outstanding notices or orders served on the owners corporation in the past 12 months
- details of any legal proceedings involving the owners corporation and any circumstances likely to lead to proceedings
- whether the owners corporation has appointed or has resolved to appoint a manager and, if so, the name and address of the manager
- whether an administrator has been proposed or appointed for the owners corporation.
The following documents must be attached to the certificate:
An owners corporation should have all of this information in its records or set out on the plan of subdivision.
It is very important that the information contained in the owners corporation certificate is accurate.
Affixing the seal to an owners corporation certificate
The owners corporation seal must be affixed to the certificate by:
- two members of the owners corporation, or
- the registered manager, or
- the chairperson.
They should write, next to the seal, ‘witnessed by’, with their full name, address, and the capacity in which they affixed the seal. It is a good idea to include the date.
Buying or selling
If you intend to sell your property, you must include an owners corporation certificate and accompanying documents in the Section 32 statement (also known as a vendor’s statement).
Section 32 statements are sometimes prepared up to 12 months before the sale of the property, so buyers should either:
- ask for a new certificate before settlement, or
- make a time to inspect the owners corporation register and records.
While it is free to check the owners corporation register, the owners corporation can charge a fee for copies of documents. For a list of the fee limits, view our Fees – owners corporations page.
Keeping a record of owners corporation certificates
Your owners corporation should keep copies of all owners corporations certificates it has issued.
How long must owners corporations keep records?
An owners corporation must keep:
- voting papers and ballots for at least 12 months after a vote or ballot is taken
- proxies for at least 12 months after they expire or are revoked
- all other documents for at least seven years.
Always keep the following documents as they will be needed for the life of the building:
- plan of subdivision
- minutes of annual general meetings
- building permits
- building plans and specifications
- building contract
- planning permit
- section 173 agreements
- builders insurance certificate, and
- the occupancy permit.
Protecting privacy in owners corporations
Your owners corporation may only collect and use personal information in a fair and lawful way.
The personal information it holds must be accurate, up-to-date and secure.
As a general rule, the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988:
- does not apply to owners corporations with less than $3 million turnover (also called gross income)
- will apply to an owners corporation, regardless of turnover, if it discloses personal information to another party for a benefit, without the consent of the person concerned, or without being authorised to do so by an Act of Parliament (such as the Owners Corporations Act 2006).
Your owners corporation should:
- require a written request from all people seeking to inspect the owners corporation’s records. This identifies the person making the request and can be used to report to the owners corporation, and
- supervise records inspections to ensure that documents are not lost, destroyed or interfered with.
A person whose details are kept in the owners corporation’s records or register may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to restrict access to that information. The tribunal will only restrict access in exceptional circumstances and only for a limited time.
For more information about complying with the Commonwealth privacy laws, visit the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner website.