in this article, we share the best steps to take if you’re struggling to pay your body corporates fees. Take charge and manage your finances like a pro.
Body corporate or owners corporation fees are paid by owners of apartments or townhouses towards the shared costs of the block. The body corporate – which is made up of the owners – sets the fees. If the fees aren’t paid, the body corporate can take legal action to recover them, plus interest and legal fees. This is a priority debt!
If you get behind on your body corporate fees it’s important to take action.
What are the steps to take if you’re struggling to pay your body corporate or body corporates fees?
Contact the body corporate
Contact the body corporate and tell them you’re having temporary difficulty making the payments. Ask for a payment arrangement that you can afford. At the same time, agree on when you’ll be able to return to paying the set fees, and how you will pay any missed payments (plus interest).
If the body corporate agrees to an arrangement:
- Make sure they confirm it in writing
- Keep a copy of the agreement
- Stick to making the payments
If the body corporate does not agree to an arrangement:
- Keep paying what you can afford and keep trying to catch up
- Keep the body corporate informed about how you plan to get back on track
- Contact The Community Schemes Ombudsman Service, which may be able to help you conciliate an agreed arrangement with your body corporate;
Speak to one of our debt counsellors
We may be able to help you work out a budget and negotiate with the body corporate. If your situation isn’t temporary, and you won’t be able to afford the body corporate fees for the foreseeable future, we can also help you work through other options.
Book an Appointment or you might feel overwhelmed, but you have options and there are steps you can take yourself. But if you feel you need a bit more guidance or need help quickly, simply call us. our National Debt Helpline on 0410125036
- If you’ve received letters of demand from the body corporate or any court documents, contact us immediately for advice.
Can I lose my home if I get behind with my body corporate fees?
The body corporate can’t take possession of your home just because you’re behind with your fees.
However, the body corporate can take you to court to recover the fees you haven’t paid. If the body corporate gets a judgment against you they may be able to:
- Garnish or have access to your bank account or salary
- Take your personal property
- ask for information about your financial situation
Uncollected levies can be crippling for a body corporate. The smaller the scheme, the bigger the potential impact.
Unfortunately, defaulting owners have a lot more flexibility when it comes to outstanding levies as it does not have an immediate impact on their living conditions – services will still be provided to the body corporate as well as the defaulting owner – and only becomes a problem when the trustees proceed with legal action.
Consequently, the unjust effect is that the rest of the owners in the scheme end up subsidizing the defaulting owners. The legal costs can be excessive, especially when an attorney is appointed which will further impact the financial position of the scheme negatively.
Owners must appreciate their role and responsibility in a sectional title scheme and must understand that community living requires everybody to do their part to make the scheme a successful and enjoyable living environment.