As housing prices become less and less affordable and access to money becomes more restrictive many homeowners have no choice but to resort to renting. While renting a place is often seen as a means to an end or as a temporary living arrangement many tenants are seeing this as a long-term option.
Renting long-term means you need to establish a relationship with a property owner, this can either be a private citizen like a landlord or a consortium like a body corporate. Having a long-term lease means you need to know who is in charge as you are now at the mercy of their decision-making process from things like personalising the home, adding other amenities, having or raising a family etc.
So now that you’re ready to step into the rental market you need to know who you are going to be dealing with, when you should be dealing with them, how you should be dealing with them and naturally each one’s role in the ecosystem.
So what exactly is the difference between a landlord and a body corporate?
What is a landlord?
A landlord is anyone who rents out a property they own under a lease or a licence that is shorter than seven years. A landlord’s obligations apply to a wide range of accommodation, occupied under a lease or a licence. However, there are two types of landlord’s, these being a short-term and a long-term landlord.
- A short-term landlord is designated when a property is rented for less than 28 days.
- A long-term landlord is designated when a property is rented for more than 28 days, but less than 7 years.
What is a body corporate?
A body corporate encompasses all of the owners of the units within a unit titled property. Each unit has its own legal title, which is transferable and can have its own mortgage.
Furthermore, the body corporate is a legal entity, made up of all of its members. The members meet yearly to elect a Body Corporate Chairperson and also a Committee who is in charge of the body corporate between General Meetings.
The Committee must follow any directions given to it at a General Meeting. When major matters crop up, the Body Corporate Chairperson will call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), so everyone has a chance to get together and make a decision.
The tenant-landlord-body corporate triangle
Normally, the lease of a property gives rise to two relationships: the relationship between the landlord and the tenant, and the relationship between the tenant and the leased property. However, when the lease is of sectional title property, a third relationship exists the relationship between the tenant and the body corporate of the sectional title scheme.
There a difference between a landlord and body corporate is that the landlord is seen as a middleman between tenant and body corporate.
An article done by local agent finder clarifies this by stating that:
“As soon as your purchase a flat, unit, or apartment, you automatically become a member of the property’s owner’s corporation. This situation arises when a piece of land that has been registered with Land Victoria is subdivided into multiple lots of titles. It may include recreational areas like a pool and gym, or other common property including lifts, pathways, and gardens. The property will be regulated under the Owners Corporation Act of 2006 as well as the Owners Corporation Regulations 2007.
As you search for a property to potentially rent out, it’s important to learn more about these corporations and what they mean to you as a landlord.”
Additionally, a body corporate is responsible for the use of common areas between residents, while more often than not a landlord resides over more private residential areas than a body corporate who reside over, for example, over apartment complexes and such.
Deciding who to rent from
Now that you know the difference, it can be become that much easier to know where you stand in the chain of things and which parties are responsible for what aspects of the agreement. You can then chose the arrangement that best suits your unique situation and avoids certain unpleasantries that could lead to issues like evictions for example.
If you need advice on your eviction case or would like us to represent your case, get in touch with Le Roux Attorneys