Owners Corporations

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The convenience of medium and high density living has proven popular in recent decades. At least one quarter of Australians live or work in subdivided owners corporation property. The number of subdivision developments continues to grow and the number of lots per development continues to increase. The challenges presented by that growth are intensified by the mix of purposes and use which apply to subdivisions. The legal and administrative functions and duties of Owners Corporations are unique and require expert legal skills and industry focus.

HWL Ebsworth represents many of Australia’s largest and most complex buildings, greenfield developments, gated communities, retirement villages, shopping centres, golf courses and resorts. We act for Owners Corporations, managers, developers, banks, insurers and builders in relation to the whole range of strata law matters.  We have prepared and implemented subdivision documentation for many of Australia’s largest towers and community developments.  We are leading advisors on Owners Corporation governance, management and administration, financial & asset management and insurance.  We enjoy industry pre-eminence in owners corporation dispute resolution and litigation.


  • The Concept Developer Pty Ltd v Conroy: Acted for the successful Applicant (and Respondent in the appeal) in Victoria’s leading case on altering plans of subdivision without unanimous approval.  We have acted in the majority of such cases which have been before the tribunal and courts;
  • McCarthy v Dandenong Region Body Corporate Services (Aust) Pty Ltd t/as D R Strata Management; Baulch v Owners Corporation PS 305551M: Acted on behalf of parties in the original apportionment of costs cases which was ultimately the subject of parliamentary intervention and the introduction of the so-called “benefit principle”;
  • Circle Developments Pty Ltd v Owners Corporation PS1897; Penniall Enterprises Pty Ltd v Owners Corporation RN4160667X: Acted or advised in many cases litigated on principles of interpretation of plans of subdivision;
  • O’Connor v OC PS3320703; Sidoti v Owners Corporation 633715B: All Owners Corporations bear the statutory obligation to repair & maintain common property and related services.  We regularly prosecute and defend proceedings in which breach of those duties is alleged.  Our expertise extends to significant building defects cases, warranty insurance claims and water damage matters;
  • Owners Corporation No.3 PS419703E: Whilst we have successfully enforced Owners Corporations rules many hundreds of times we equally enjoy an unparalleled reputation for defending owners against the oppressive, unfairly prejudicial or discriminatory; and
  • Wilkinson v Owners Corporation SP0282875; Hopkins v Owners Corporation RP449200: Under the Subdivision Act easements for access, services and support will be implied over land on a plan it the easement is necessary for the reasonable use and enjoyment of the lot or common property and is consistent with the reasonable use and enjoyment of the other lots and the common property.  We have advised on and appeared in countless implied easement matters.

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