You and Body Corporate Membership

body corporate membershipSometimes people complain that they don’t need to pay their levies, or observe the by-laws of a body corporate because they’re not actually a member of the body corporate.

They never joined, they don’t want to and frankly none of that stuff has got anything to do with them.

And while we’re on that subject stop sending them all that junk!

Body corporate membership

If you buy a lot in a body corporate, even if that body corporate is just a duplex, you’re a member of the body corporate.

The members of the body corporate are the Lots. Ergo, if you buy a lot you’re also buying it’s membership in the body corporate. Body corporate membership is inextricably linked to lot ownership.

A body corporate comes into effect when lots are strata titled, a process of subdivision that allows lots to be sold notwithstanding the land they’re contained within has not be subdivided. Effectively the body corporate is the owner of the land and each lot within the building, and by extension the lot owner, owns a portion of the body corporate.

The lot and the body corporate cannot be separated.

Becoming a member of the body corporate

The only active step you need take to gain body corporate membership is to buy a lot.

You don’t actively need to get involved with the running of the body corporate but, as a lot owner, you do need to fulfil your responsibilities to the body corporate such as paying your levies, observing the by-laws and respecting the rights of others.

It’s not uncommon for lot owners to be surprised by their sudden membership and in Queensland we have legislation that tries to address just this problem. All lots in a body corporate must include a section 206 disclosure statement at the front of the contract as official “notice” that this is a body corporate for which levies are due and payable.


A little knowledge can go a long way

I see so many stressful and frustrating issues in body corporate records that result from simple misunderstandings it hurts my head. If I could do one thing to help it would be to teach everyone the basic rules, so they can avoid all these dramas.

With that in mind I've put together a short eBook that sets out the basics everyone owning in a body corporate really should know. It won't make those big issues go away, but it will give you a firm grounding from which to communicate.

It's completely free, so please, download it now!

Download Now


  1. Peter Jacobs says:

    Hi Lisa. I am a boat owner within the Darwin Trailer Boat Club inc. The Associations Act lists incorporated associations as being a Body Corporate. Should I see myself as in the same situation as a site owner with similar privileges and responsibilities as for site owners?
    I have been unable to source guidance towards members of a Body Corporate that is other than in real estate.
    Regards Peter.

    • Hi Peter

      This is complex question and I’m not sure I understand it.

      It sounds like the Darwin Trailer Boat Club is a company. Bodies corporate did actually start out as companies. The reason that body corporate legislation, as we now know it, evolved is because owners of a company own shares. Shares have less value that property so finance companies wouldn’t lend enough money for most people to be able to afford to buy a unit within a company. The BCCM legislation evolved to make units affordable for more people.

      There are still bodies corporate which are companies. Now days they are registered if the land on which they’re built is encumbered somehow. If the Darwin Trailer Boat Club is incorporated that presumably you are a shareholder. There should be directors who sit on a board and Articles of Association. There will be a Chairperson and Secretary whom you should be able to track down. Refer to the clubs own documentation to find out what goes on, what rights and privileges you have.

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