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That annoying body corporate!

The very moment  a unit is registered in your name at the deeds office, you automatically become a member of the body corporate of that sectional title complex. The body corporate is made up of all the owners of units in a complex. It is not a choice. An owner in a complex cannot refuse to become a member and can also not resign at any stage while he or she owns a unit in that complex.

When one takes transfer of a sectional title unit, one effectively becomes a member of a community of people whose common charactertistic is that they own a unit in a particular sectional title complex. Membership only ceases to exist when the unit is sold and ownership is transferred into the new owner's name in the deeds office. The new owner then becomes a member of the body corporate.

From a legal point of view the body corporate has a separate identity. It can sue and be sued.

Trustees are those individuals who are elected at the Annual General Meeting of a body corporate as representatives of the body corporate who take care of the day-to-day adminstration and management of the body corporate. Owners in sectional title schemes often think of the trustees as the body corporate - hence the reference to "them".

The most important function of a body corporate is to establish a fund, called the levy fund,  to which each owner must contribute. From this fund all expenses related to running a building is paid - that is expenses for which the body corporate is responsible. 

More about the responsibilties of trustees and levies next time - but in the meantime, remember: the body corporate of the complex in which you own a unit, is not THEM -  it is US! 

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