Introduction to this section

The papers in this section are not to be construed as providing legal advice, or prescriptions of how any particular Owners Corporation (OC) should manage its affairs. They are intended to describe some aspects of living in a units plan, and to summarise, in layman's language wherever possible, how some of the important concepts are provided for in the legislation, and some of the options in their application that OC's might take into account when formulating their management philosophies and procedures.

The legislation recognises and accommodates the variability of unit plan design and siting characteristics, but it does so in ways that sometimes makes correct interpretation of a given section of an Act depend on provisions made in other sections, or even other Acts.

The papers are perforce generic. They do not necessarily deal with every circumstance that might confront an owners corporation, and not every situation covered in the papers will necessarily be encountered by every corporation. Nevertheless, we hope that the papers will give readers some useful insights into what living in a unit plan is, or should be, like and some hints for dealing with some of the problems that may be encountered.

In the drafting of these articles it is assumed that the reader has access to and at least a nodding acquaintance with the relevant legislation, in particular the Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011 (Act), but the Unit Titles Act 2001 is also important, while various provisions of the Agents, Disability and Work Health and Safety Acts apply to particular situations. The legislation can be downloaded free of charge here.

Members are invited to comment on the substance of these papers, and to contribute material describing their own experiences or strategies in respect of these or any other aspect of managing or living in an OC. The OCN is heavily involved in the effort to improve building standards in apartment buildings and units plans of all types, and we pursue remedies to other deficiencies in the legislation.

Even if you are not a member, please feel free to draw on these papers and to contribute, but at the same time consider whether you could both benefit yourself, and help our work further, by joining up, for a very modest annual fee. The greater our membership, the louder our voice! We commend these papers to our members, current and prospective.

ACT Government facts sheets

For additional information on the operation of the legislation, members may wish to access the facts sheets that summarise the operation of the Act published by The ACT Justice and Community SafetyDirectorate (JACS). The Directorate invites both comments and requests for more information from the public on the usefulness of their product and the operation of laws.