Properties, such as apartment blocks, that have units owned by different people usually have body corporate agencies that oversee the management of the property. Such body corporate entities are usually contacted for approval in case one of the owners wants to alter a common property, such as a section of the lawn. This article discusses some of the questions that body corporate managers may consider before granting your request to modify commonly owned segments of the property.
How Will the Alteration Affect the Value of Other Units?
The provider of body corporate services may wish to find out how the alteration that you wish to make will affect the value of other units within the property. For instance, you may wish to construct a wall around the balcony on your unit. Such a wall can make your unit to have a higher perceived value than other units whose balconies are not enclosed by walls. This is because the enclosed balcony on your unit can be used for different purposes, such as using it as an extra bedroom. The body corporate manager may deny you permission to alter a common area if that alteration may lower the perceived value of other units on the property.
How Will the Appearance of the Property Be Affected?
The body corporate manager may also consider how the proposed alteration will affect the harmonious appearance of the entire building. That manager may deny you permission to alter the common property in case that alteration will affect the appearance of the building in a negative way, such as painting the exterior of your unit using a colour that does not fit into the colour scheme of the rest of the building.
Who Will Be Responsible for the Repair or Maintenance of the Altered Area?
Some alterations, such as constructing a patio, may require periodic maintenance or repairs. The body corporate manager may consider who will meet those repair or maintenance costs before approving the alterations. The consent of other owners of the units on the property may be sought in case they will be expected to contribute towards the maintenance of the alteration that you wish to make. Alternatively, the ownership rules governing your unit may be modified to make you solely responsible for maintaining or repairing that alteration that you make.
It is advisable for you to consult a provider of body corporate services in case you wish to alter common property on a property that is owned by several people. This consultation will ensure that you do not violate any of the rules governing body corporate entities.
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