FAQs about Our Body Corp

Common Questions about Our Body Corp:

  1. Are you different to strata management companies?
  2. Is this suitable for across Australia?
  3. Does “DIY strata” mean I’ll be self-managing on my own?
  4. What if I want more support from my body corporate?
  5. What can the team of experts help me with?
  6. What if the unit owner managing our scheme sells up, or things fall in a heap?
  7. Why is Our Body Corp so cheap?

Getting Started on the Program:

  1. Our Body Corp Overview (video tour)
  2. How do I register as a new user? (screen shot tour)
  3. Sign Up a New Strata Scheme (screenshot tour)
  4. What is the Groups section for?
  5. What can I do in the Finances section? (video tours)
  6. Can I manage our meetings using Our Body Corp?
  7. How do I use the Notice Board?
  8. How does the Pinboard work?
  9. What is the Documents section for?
  10. How do I upload a photo of my property?

Personal Information & Privacy:

  1. What do you use my details for?
  2. How can I make my contact information private?

Living Harmoniously in Strata Communities:

  1. How can I avoid disputes with my neighbours in a self-managed strata?
  2. What are the benefits of having a well-maintained garden?
  3. How do I deal with noisy neighbours?
  4. Any tips from a body corporate for dog and cat owners?

Helpful Documents and Advice:

  1. Do you have any documents I should read?
  2. How do I make notes on my electronic documents?
  3. Help! I need to talk to a real person about Strata or IT!

 

If your question hasn’t been answered here, send an email to support@ourbodycorp.com.au.

Common Questions about Our Body Corp:

1. Are you different to other strata management companies?

Our Body Corp (OBC) is an online tool for you to easily self-manage your strata corporation, body corporate or owners’ corporation (these words mean the same thing, different states use different terms).

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2. Is this suitable for across Australia?

Yes, the OBC program and services support you wherever you are or whatever type of dwelling you own as part of an owners’ corporation.

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3.  Does “DIY strata” mean I’ll be self-managing on my own?

No, you are self-managing with the support of strata professionals to keep you on track. OBC advises on strata and IT issues (only IT support of the Our Body Corp program – OBC doesn’t fix your hard drive!). OBC’s specialist agents follow up to see how you’re going with your DIY strata management.

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4. What if I want more support from my body corporate?

You’ve got it. A public announcement of OBC’s Team of Experts will be made shortly. Like Our Body Corp, our partners offer quality, cost-competitive services available online (or online bookings depending on the service). OBC regularly checks each partner to ensure that they’re delivering a high standard of service otherwise endorsement of the company is dropped. Remember, you’ll have to pay separately for these services, but many of the services you’ll use infrequently, except insurance of course.

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5. What can the team of experts help me with?

We can assist with any of the following self-managed strata issues:

  • Insurance
  • Audit
  • Tax Returns
  • Valuations
  • Handyman
  • Specialist legal advice
  • Sinking Fund Planning
  • Fire Compliance Audit
  • OH&S Audit
  • Mediation

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6. What if the unit owner managing our scheme sells up, or things fall in a heap?

Phone 1300 848 343 or email support@ourbodycorp.com.au to help you get back on track. OBC’s got lots of nifty solutions to get you through, eg. an agent can run your strata for a while (higher fee), scan and upload documents etc.

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7. Why is Our Body Corp so cheap?

It’s an online business so OBC can keep its costs down.

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Getting Started on the Program:

1. Our Body Corp Overview (video tour):

Here’s an overview of the Our Body Corp program.

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2. How do I register as a new user? (screen shot tour)

To register as an Our Body Corp new user in your online community, you’ll need an email invitation from a site administrator. Accept the invitation in your inbox and follow the prompts.

If you get stuck follow these steps.

Step 1 – In your email inbox you’ll receive an email with this invitation – click on Accept Invitation:

From Accept Invitation

Step 2 – Accept Invitation (click on Sign Up if you’re a new user):

From Accept Invitation

Step 3 – Register your details and make sure you agree to the Terms and Conditions (if you do agree!):

From Accept Invitation

Step 4 – Do nothing! This is just a thank you to say all has gone through nicely:

From Accept Invitation

Step 5 – Log back into your email account and click on ‘Verify my email address’:

From Accept Invitation

Step 6 – Account verified – now click on ‘Go to [name of your strata community]’:

From Accept Invitation

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3. Sign Up a New Strata Scheme (screenshot tour):

To sign up for free trial of our online DIY strata management program, all you need to do is follow the prompts.

If you get stuck, follow these steps.

Step 1 – Complete the fields – “what’s this?” hints explain unfamiliar terms:

From Setup a New Scheme

Step 2 – As it says, to get started click on Add Unit:

From Setup a New Scheme

Step 3 – Add the first unit:

From Setup a New Scheme

Step 4 – Add the details of the unit:

From Setup a New Scheme

Step 5 – Add another unit:

From Setup a New Scheme

Step 6 – Keep adding units until you reach the total number of units in your block:

From Setup a New Scheme

Step 7 – Now invite your owners to join the community by completing the fields on this page:

From Setup a New Scheme

Step 8 – Congratulations, you’re done! Owners will now receive your invitations via email:

From Setup a New Scheme

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4. What is the Groups section for?

If you share common interests, hobbies or projects with other members of your strata community, start a group on Our Body Corp to communicate with them directly.

Click ‘Groups’ on the vertical blue toolbar on the far left-hand side of your page. If you want to start a new discussion group, click the pink ‘+ New Group’ button. Give your group a name, choose to make the group public (anyone can join) or private (members must be invited) and invite the people you’d like to join. Click the blue ‘Create Group’ button at the bottom and you’re done.

Once your group is created, you get your own personal notice board. Start new discussion topics relevant to your group by clicking the pink ‘+ New Discussion Topic’ button. A new window will open and you can type your message in there. When you’re done, click the blue ‘Create Topic’ button.

You’ll be redirected to a screen where you can upload an attachment to go with your message. If you don’t want to do this, just click ‘skip this’ and you’ll be redirected back to your group’s notice board automatically. Your message will now appear at the top of the list and all group members will receive an email notification of your post.

To post replies on existing topics, locate the message thread you want to add to, click it, then hit the pink ‘+ Post a Reply’ button. From here, the method for posting a reply is exactly the same as the above, and all members will receive your reply via email.

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5. What can I do in the Finances section? (video tours)

The Finances section helps you self-manage your strata by monitoring your budget, creating invoices and keeping track of the bills you’ve paid.

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6. Can I manage our meetings using Our Body Corp?

If you want to set up your strata group’s Annual General Meeting, a working bee for the garden or a community coffee morning, you can use the Meetings function of the Our Body Corp website.

Click ‘Meetings’ on the vertical blue toolbar. Once you’re redirected, click the pink ‘+ New Meeting’ button and you’re on your way.

On the next page, fill in the ‘type’, ‘place’ and ‘time’ details for your meeting and click the pink ‘Create Meeting’ button.

You’ll then be redirected to a page where you have the option to create an agenda (you don’t have to). When you’re happy with the meeting details, click the pink ‘Save’ button.

Congratulations! You’ve created the online invitation to your meeting. Now you can invite other users, edit your agenda and add attachments like posters and past minutes. Everyone you invite will receive an email notification to let them know about the event.

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7. How do I use the Notice Board?

The notice board is great for posting short messages that apply to the majority (if not all) of your strata community.

Access the notice board by clicking ‘Notice Board’ on the vertical blue toolbar. If you want to start a new topic, click the pink ‘+ New Discussion Topic’ button. A new window will open for you to type your message. When you’re done, click the blue ‘Create Topic’ button.

You’ll be redirected to a screen where you can upload an attachment to go with your message before it posts. If you don’t want to do this, you can click ‘skip this’ and you’ll be redirected back to the notice board automatically. Your message will now appear at the top of the list and all users will receive an email notification of your post.

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8. How does the Pinboard work?

The Pinboard is similar to the Notice Board, only you post pictures instead of words. If you’ve got pictures from a community get-together, or maybe some old photos of your property when it was originally built, feel free to upload them to the pinboard for all to see.

Just click the pink ‘+ Add Image’ button, ‘Choose File’ to find your photo, then ‘Upload File’ to add it to the pinboard. It’s that easy!

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9. What is the Documents section for?

The Documents section is home to all the documents relating to your strata community. It’s divided up into folders to make looking for a particular file that bit easier.

If you’re looking for past AGM agendas and minutes, property by-laws or copies of bills paid, you should find them all here.

Any documents attached to meetings, or message board or group posts will automatically upload to the Documents section too.

If there’s a document you’d like to add, open the appropriate folder to upload it to, then click the pink ‘Upload File’ button on the right-hand side of the page. Click ‘Choose File’ then ‘Upload File’ and your document will automatically appear.

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10. How do I upload a photo of my property?

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Personal Information & Privacy:

1. What do you use my details for?

Our Body Corp only collects the information needed to conduct business with you. You will always know what information is being collected, and will have the option to choose how your information is displayed. We are committed to collecting information in a lawful, fair and unobtrusive way.

The Our Body Corp team only use the information you have supplied to:

•  identify you as the subscriber and to provide better customer service to you.
•  operate our business in a more effective way for you.
•  fulfill legal and regulatory obligations.

Rest assured, all personal information that is submitted to Our Body Corp is protected both on and offline. Our web pages that request information use the Hypertext Transport Protocol Security (HTTPS) protocol, which allows data to be transferred in an encrypted form known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

In short, we only use your personal information to make using Our Body Corp a more enjoyable and successful experience for you, the user.

For more information, feel free to read our Privacy Statement and our Terms and Conditions.

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2. How can I make my contact information private?

To respect your privacy, we’ve made it possible to hide some of your contact details listed on the Our Body Corp website. Your unit number and street name, your surname and your phone number can all be kept private. These details are only visible to yourself and the Our Body Corp site administrators.

Your suburb and postcode will still appear to all users (you all live in the same strata community, so chances are your neighbours will know this information already anyway).

Email addresses can’t be hidden. If you don’t want your email address to appear to other users, the OBC team suggests creating a new ‘dummy’ address to use only on this site and for no other communications.

To edit your details, log into Our Body Corp, click your name (displayed on the right of the top navigation bar) then click My Details. Here you’ll see how your contact information displays to other users. You can edit your name, address and phone number.

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Living Harmoniously in Strata Communities:

1. How can I avoid disputes with my neighbours in a self-managed strata?

Self-managed strata communities are microcosms of society and disputes can sometimes happen in medium and high density living. The top three reasons for strata disputes are: the use of common property, parking and noise.

Finding ways to resolve disputes is important to maintain harmony and co-operation between all members of your strata community. For some top tips on keeping the peace, check out our FAQs on self-managed strata.

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2. What are the benefits of having a well-maintained garden?

Maintained gardens make strata communities more beautiful, more impressive and more attractive places to live. Garden areas, driveways and pathways should be maintained to ensure they remain healthy and happy, and can be enjoyed by all members of your self-managed strata community.

Maintenance programs should include watering, fertilising, weed control, pruning and plant replacement. Try using the Our Body Corp notice board to organise a working bee for your community and get everyone involved! Many hands make light work, and it will increase the sense of community ownership and pride across your property.

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3. How do I deal with noisy neighbours?

Most strata communities have rules and regulations around issues like acceptable noise levels and tenant behaviour. Please be considerate of your neighbours and respect everyone’s right to enjoy their own homes without disturbance. You should also ensure that your visitors don’t disturb others.

Common noise problems include loud music, loud conversation, barking dogs, slammed doors, noisy wooden floors and maintenance or renovations. Mechanical noises (for example, washing machines, dryers, and exercise equipment such as treadmills) can also cause annoyance for your neighbours sharing walls or floors. Placing equipment on vibration isolators will absorb some of the machine’s activity and can help reduce noise.

The best answer to resolving noise from neighbours is to first talk to them. If you’re angry, take the time to cool down and collect your thoughts before speaking to them. Remember, you have to live next to them, so picking a fight can escalate a conflict into a much deeper and prolonged stress than the incident that caused it!

So, your approach should always be calm, rational, and polite. Most people are reasonable. It often happens that offenders are completely unaware of how distressing their noise is, and welcome being told so they can tone down their behaviour.

If you don’t feel comfortable contacting your neighbour directly, get in contact with your body corporate who can assist with the matter.

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4. Any tips from the body corporate for dog and cat owners?

Owning a pet can increase positive mental health and quality of life. But it does come with responsibilities!

Dog barking is one of the most common reasons for dog-related complaints to councils. Dogs tend to bark because of boredom, fear, territory guarding, separation anxiety or other noises.

If your dog only barks when you’re out, a complaint about dog noise might come as a surprise. Stay positive and thank the complainant for letting you know so you can work on a solution.

Key strategies to reduce dog-related noise include training, providing more company for the pet, providing more toys, seeking advice from a professional animal behaviourist, using a citronella collar, or (where practical) keeping the dog indoors.

Try to work out why your dog barks. If you can find the cause, you may be able to fix it. More exercise can solve many dog problems. If you don’t have time for extra walks, hire a dog walker or ask a neighbour to help out.

Make separation less of a “big deal” for your dog. Don’t make a fuss of your dog when you come and go. Provide distractions such as treats, toys, a radio or television. Pet stores and vet clinics often stock a wide range of engaging toys. If you think your dog has a serious case of separation anxiety, you should speak to a vet about desensitisation and medication.

Keeping cats indoors prevents noisy fights, extends their lifespan and protects local wildlife. But indoor cats will cry to be let out if you don’t enrich their environment. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep indoor cats amused.

An outdoor enclosure or a window your cat can see out of can make all the difference. You can also provide climbing platforms and scratching posts, crumpled up paper balls, paper bags with the handles cut off – or the ever-popular cardboard box.

When you adopt a kitten, consider adopting two – they can keep each other entertained. Cats need exercise too! Some cats can be entertained for hours by a laser pointer cat toy. Some can even be trained to walk on a leash.

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Helpful Documents:

1. Do you have any documents I should read?

Sure do! Check out the following:

– Our Body Corp Privacy Statement
– Our Body Corp Terms and Conditions

For more helpful documents specific to your community, head to your property’s Documents section on Our Body Corp.

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2. How do I make notes on my electronic documents?

To make notes on your board or committee papers using a digital device, download the free Adobe Reader application from the iTunes or Google Play stores. Open your papers in Adobe Reader on your device.

Follow these instructions to make edit marks on your documents.

Save these edited documents to your private Adobe folder, so no one else in the group can see them.

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3. I need to talk to a real person about Strata or IT.

To get help on all IT matters regarding Our Body Corp, phone us on 1300 848 343 or email us at support@ourbodycorp.com.au.

We pride ourselves in getting back to you promptly. We’re here for you and will come back to your email generally within 24 hours, if not sooner.

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