Are bodies corporate able to provide relief to those strata residents struggling to pay levies?
Lot owners and the media have expressed uncertainty as to their options, so industry peak body Strata Community Association (Qld) has provided some guidance to help schemes through these confusing times.
Factors to consider
- Only the collective of owners (i.e. the body corporate) can change levies by way of a general meeting; neither the body corporate manager nor the property manager have any say in this decision.
- Committees have three options to assist owners in financial difficulties without having to call a general meeting:
- Reinstate lost discounts
- Waive penalty interest and
- Agree to payment plans with individual lot owners.
- Reducing levies should not be done lightly, as there may still be fixed maintenance and management costs for common facilities and there is an obligation to ensure common property is in a safe condition.
- Cancellation of planned maintenance may have a severe and costly impact on future budgets.
- If lot owners do not pay levies, they may lose discounts given to those who make timely payments and become liable to pay penalty interest.
SCA (Qld) encourages all committees and lot owners to work together to reach accommodations for those who are struggling from the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis and make decisions that suit the bests interests of all in their strata community.
The SCA (Qld) website has some helpful videos and documents that detail the ways owners and bodies corporate can assist each other through this uncertain time, including:
- Levy FAQs – what are they and can I change them? This two-page document provides an overview of levies, explains whether bodies corporate can change them, and the options available to owners and committees in the event of non-payment.
- A brief summary video of what the options are
- A FAQ video.