If you prefer to adopt the "laissez-faire" attitude when it comes to the place that you call home, you may prefer to live in a simple abode, rather than in a traditional, single-family home with all the maintenance issues attached. In this case, you may have decided to buy a flat instead on the basis that much of this extra work will be taken care of for you by somebody else. However, you cannot afford to simply switch off as soon as you move into somewhere like this, and you do need to take an active interest in the overall upkeep of the building. This is especially important if you want to protect your investment for the future. So why do you need to become intimately associated with your owner's corporation?
Obviously, your flat is only one of a number of different units in that building and collectively, you all own a part of the entire project. This means that you are part of an owner's corporation, which is a legal entity recognised by the government. As soon as you decide to buy, you should have been given a lot of paperwork that helps to spell out how individual pieces are separated into different lots and what other areas of the property are considered to be commonly owned. You will also be entitled to a share of the ownership which comes with voting rights, and you will be able to have your say in crucial meetings that will also help to regulate the management company.
In short, you have a collective responsibility to maintain both the common areas and the building and within a strict budget. You will also need to speak up for yourself if you're unhappy with any element of the arrangement and can work with other owners to put your point across more forcefully.
Certainly, it is possible for the owners to manage the entire project themselves without assistance and the help of professionals. However, this is a big job and really requires input from experienced managers. Therefore, you will need to confirm the appointment of a management company with other members of your owner's corporation.
Protecting Your Investment
You will undoubtedly want the value of your flat to accumulate if at all possible, but you must realise that this will largely depend on the overall condition of the larger building and its common areas. This is why you need to be proactive and get fully involved in the owner's corporation so that you have a say in the future value of your own unit.
Getting the Details
If you're not up to date with all the details and have not attended a meeting recently, ask your real estate agent to provide you with full details about the owner's corporation as soon as possible.