Buying a property often involves a lifestyle choice.  Is it to be a house with a yard for the kids to play in and explore, or perhaps a unit or townhouse are the preferred options due to smaller space, lower cost, location and maintenance benefits.

If the later wins the day and you purchase a property in a complex you’re now entering the world of the Body Corporate and ‘Community Title Schemes’.  In taking this road it’s important to understand the difference compared to a standard house purchase so you can make the right decision!

In today’s blog McAdam & Turnbull Realty Principal and selling agent Lachlan Evans explores a few important considerations before you decide to purchase a unit or townhouse in a complex involving Community Title Schemes.  This information is general in nature and not intended to be legal advice.  It’s recommended you consult with a qualified lawyer for advice on any of the points raised. 

OK, firstly what is a Community Title Scheme and Body Corporate?

In general, a community title scheme (CTS) is managed by a body corporate and contains multiple units or stand-alone dwellings that could be part of a single or multi staged development. The body corporate is responsible for managing the common areas of the CTS such as pathways and recreational facilities.  Each unit in a CTS is issued with a lot and plan which shows its boundaries and size. A CTS can be residential, commercial or a mix of both, and typically has multiple property owners.  (Ref: )

  • Impact on purchase costs – Purchasing a unit may involve additional searches and due diligence enquiries to obtain relevant details about the body corporate and its financial structure and cash flow position. We strongly recommend you consult closely with a conveyancing lawyer during this process to determine the right enquiries and searches.
  • Property values – Depending on the number of units in a complex, its style, location, and other market factors the return on investment over time may be different to a comparable house in the same area.   
  • Body Corporate – Owning a dwelling in a complex entitles you to voting rights in the body corporate. The body corporate is responsible for managing the common areas, maintenance of the overall building structure and regulating the complex within the limits under the Act.  As such, building insurance is usually handled by the body corporate for the whole complex.  You are responsible for internal maintenance of your unit.  Sometimes the boundary between the two can get blurred and it’s wise to get professional legal advice in the event of any doubt or dispute.    
  • Lifestyle Considerations – Living in a unit or townhouse generally brings with it some unique lifestyle considerations. You’ll be living closely alongside neighbours and you’re likely to hear conversations, celebrations, kids playing and arguments!  If that bothers you then maybe a unit isn’t the right choice.  Living in a unit means the time spent on yard and property maintenance is generally a thing of the past.  Other than a small courtyard or similar area the demands on your time to clean and maintain the yard are limited. 
  • Property Management – In the case of buying a unit for investment purposes, finding a property manager before purchasing is always a wise strategy. A qualified and experienced Management Agency will help you determine if a property is suitable as a rental.  A good property manager is your “business partner” during the time you own the property.

McAdam & Turnbull recommends obtaining professional financial advice before making any investment purchase decisions.  The information contained in todays blog is general in nature as every person’s situation is different.  The sales team led by Lachlan Evans are focused on tailoring real estate solutions to meet your needs and keep the experience as stress free as possible. 

McAdam & Turnbull Realty are your local real estate professionals and property management specialists in Toowoomba and nearby surrounds.  You can follow our Principal and agent Lachlan Evans at or view our current rental and sale listings at and LIKE us on Facebook @  

This publication covers real estate, property market, finance and legal related issues in a general way. It is intended for general information purposes only and should not be regarded as professional finance or legal advice. McAdam & Turnbull Realty recommends that professional legal and/or finance advice should be obtained before taking any action on the basis of the general information presented in this publication.

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