Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve put together answers to some of the most common questions you might have about Owners First and owners corporation management. Don’t see your question answered here? Drop us a line below and we’ll get back to before you know it.

What is an Owners Corporation (Body Corporate)?

As defined by the Owners Corporation Act, an “owners corporation means a body corporate which is incorporated by registration of a plan of subdivision or a plan of strata or cluster subdivision;”.  Also refer “What is a Plan of Subdivision?” under these FAQs

An Owners Corporation (formerly called ‘Body Corporate’) can be residential, commercial, retail, industrial or of mixed-use.

An Owners Corporation (OC) is created when a plan (POS) of subdivision is registered with Land Victoria, where the POS shows the ‘Lots’ that can be sold separately and are private property of the owner.

The entity (person/s, company, etc.) who owns a Lot with the Plan of Subdivision automatically becomes a member of the Owners Corporation.

More information can be found in the linked document, “Guide to owning, managing and living in an owners corporation” provided by consumer Affairs Victoria OR, of course by contacting your manager.

What is a Plan of Subdivision?

The plan of subdivision (POS) is registered with Land Victoria and an owners corporation is created when the plan includes common property.

The POS defines and governs the ownership of land, buildings and airspace. It sets out private lots, common property and each lot owner’s voting entitlements and financial contributions through lot Entitlements and Lot Liabilities. Also refer “What is a Lot Entitlement and Lot Liability?” under these FAQs

Land Victoria registers and allocates numbers to the POS and any multiple owners corporations created by that plan.  This is known as your plan of subdivision number, also known as your Owners Corporation number

If you require more information or explanation please contact your manager.

What is a Lot Entitlement and Lot Liability?

Each owners Lot Entitlement and Lot Liability is set out in the plan of subdivision, primarily on the Owners Corporation Schedule at the end of the document.  The entitlement and liabilities are defined as:

  • Lot entitlement refers to a lot owner’s share of ownership of the common property and determines voting rights.
  • Lot liability represents the share of owners corporation expenses that each lot owner is required to pay.

These entitlements and liabilities are determined by the developer (and surveyor) at the time of subdivision.

If you require more information or explanation please contact your manager.

What does owners corporation insurance cover?

Under Victorian legislation, “An owners corporation must take out reinstatement and replacement insurance for all buildings on the common property.”  It further indicates

….building includes any building on the plan of subdivision and—

  • any improvements and fixtures forming part of the building; and

(ab) any shared services; and

  • anything prescribed as forming part of a building—

but does not include—

  • carpet and temporary floor, wall and ceiling coverings; or
  • fixtures removable by a lessee at the end of a lease; or
  • anything prescribed as not forming part of a building;

The Owners corporations must also take out public liability insurance of not less than $10 million for common property.

A prescribed owners corporation must, every five years, obtain a valuation of all buildings it is required to insure.

What this means in simpler terms, it that the Owners Corporation will take out insurance to cover the building(s), however, owners/residents/tenants will need to take our insurance for their contents.  Contents in this case includes privately owned fixtures and fittings in any unit e.g. carpets, paint, curtains, blinds, light fitting or other electrical appliances which are not built into the lot and can be removed without interference to electrical wiring.

Owners renting their properties may also look at Landlord insurance, which covers then in respect to a number a tenant specific related items.

More information is available on the Whitbread Insurance Brokers Lot Owners FAQ sheet

What are the OC Rules?

All owners corporations in Victoria have rules for the control, management, administration, use or enjoyment of the common property of the lot.

A standard set of Model Rules is contained in the Owners Corporation regulations and apply if there are no special rules for the OC.  The Model Rules are in essence the minimum set of rules for all Owners Corporation, and Special Rules are extensions or additions to these rules.

There are many occasions where the Owners Corporation might establish special rules. For instance a special rule might be required to visitor parking spaces. Or the Owners Corporation might decide that the exterior colour scheme must adhere to a particular heritage colour scheme.  Special Rules are predominately set up at the development stage, however, can be added later by Special Resolution.  The Special Rules can also be added to or amended by Special Resolution of the Owners Corporation.

If you require more information or explanation please contact your manager.

What is a maintenance plan?

A building needs maintenance as it ages. Ongoing maintenance helps retain the value of the building and makes the property more enjoyable to live in. A lack of or poor maintenance or neglect can lead to serious damage and safety hazards.

If your Owners Corporation has an annual general levy of $200,000 or more or has 100 Lots or more your Owners Corporation must prepare a Maintenance Plan.

An Owners Corporation maintenance plan covers the following:

  • Major capital items for repairs and/or replacement over the next 10 years
  • The present condition of those items
  • When the items or components will need to be repaired or replaced
  • The estimated cost of their repair and replacement
  • The expected life of those items or components once repaired or replaced

If an owners corporation has a maintenance plan then it must have a maintenance fund to cover the cost of works in the plan, however, the Maintenance Plan must be approved by the Owners Corporation before levies can be issued.

The Owners Corporation is required to report on the implementation of its maintenance plan at the Annual General Meeting, where it is approved (all or part of it) and appropriate budget and levies approved by owners.

If you require more information or explanation please contact your manager.

When is my Annual General Meeting?

Owners First’s Service Charter stipulates it will:

  • Organise your Annual General Meeting with a maximum of three months from the end of financial year (or as agreed with committee)

Each owners corporation may have a different end of financial year, so in turn, a different Annual General Meeting (AGM) date.  Although, as a general rule, your AGM is usually about the same time every year as an estimate

Sometimes, you may find the date in the minutes of the last AGM.  If you don’t have a copy of the minutes, you can find them on your web portal here.

More information is available on the Strata Web Portal is in the FAQ below “How do I access the Strata Web Portal” or of course, by contacting your manager.

How do I join the OC Committee?

The Owners Corporation Act dictates that the OC Committee be elected at a General meeting, so it is only at the Annual General Meeting (or a Special General Meeting) where we can add new committee members.

In the meantime, please contact your manager to let them know of your interest in the committee, and the can arrange to register your interest, alternatively, you can complete the attached Committee Nomination Form and return to the manager (or Secretary of the OC) for attention at the next General Meeting.

I have a maintenance problem, what do I do and is it an Owners Corporation or Private issue?

Before you complete the Maintenance Request form, we’d just like to advise that not all maintenance requests are an Owners Corporation issue.

The Owners Corporation maintains the common property around the building and grounds.  Where an issue relates to common property, it must be reported to the OC Manager for action

If the issue relates to private property, it may not be the responsibility of the Owners Corporation.  If you are unsure, you may still report this to your OC Manager and they will advise you if it is private or an Owners corporation issue.  We are here to help

If you have a non-urgent maintenance issue, you can you the Maintenance request Form to submit your issue directly to your OC Manager.

What do I do if I have an afterhours maintenance emergency?

For after hours emergencies, RCM Group are available on 03 9890 1983

Please note, if the matter is not an Owners Corporation emergency you may be charged a call out fee and any repairs may need to be covered directly.  If the issue is not an emergency, an afterhours call fee may also be charged.

We do also have preferred contractors listed on your information portal for your property

How do I access the Strata Web Portal?

Owners can access their Web portal at

Enjoy access to your lot information, notices and payments as well as upcoming or past meetings.

Strata Portal saves you time and offers increased convenience by providing access to the information you need at any time of day, even from your mobile device if you’re out on the road.

  • View details of your levy positions
  • View and download annual insurance certificate
  • View and download information relating to the AGM
  • View and download documents attached to your lot
  • Accessible 24/7 from your computer or mobile phone browser

You will require your Login details.  If you have forgotten your details, please contact your manager.

How do I pay my fees?

Owners First uses Macquarie Bank payment services for processing owners corporation fee payments.

An OC Fee notice is issued either annually, half yearly or quarterly depending on how your owners corporation has chosen to be levied.  This notice is posted to your nominated postal address, unless you have requested this to be delivered by email. You can change the delivery of your Fee notice from post to email (or email to post) by via the client portal.

Your OC Fee notice has all the payment options on the base of the fee notice.

How can I update my details?

You can update your details through the Strata Web Portal here.

Can I have a pet at my apartment?

As a owners corporation resident, you are subject to the owners corporation rules of your plan.

So as a pet owner, you are impacted by both your owners corporation rules.  Some Owners Corporation require you complete a Pet Agreement form so you should always refer to your specific properties rules.

The base Model Rules in Victoria indicate the following

“3.1 Use of the common property

3.1.4 If the owners corporation has resolved that an animal is a danger or is causing a nuisance to the common property, it must give reasonable notice of this resolution to the owner or occupier who is keeping the animal.

3.1.5. An owner or occupier of a lot who is keeping an animal that is the subject of a notice under subrule (4) must remove that animal.

3.1.6. Subrules (4) and (5) do not apply to an animal that assists a person with an impairment or disability.

This model rule means that pets are allowed unless it has been resolved not to allow the animal because it is a nuisance or poses a danger.  Owners corporations can also make their own pet-related rules by special resolution.  The rules must be registered with Land Victoria.  Pet owners should check with their owners corporation to see what rules apply to their strata development.

If you require more information or explanation please contact your manager.