Owners vote no because they cant afford levies

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Forums Levies Owners vote no because they cant afford levies

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    Leo 0708

    Hi Amanda

    Can owners refuse to raise levies for works that need to be actioned.

    This building was allowed to run down and now has HUGE bills for remediation. Into the millions. It is no longer a repair but a replacement. I understand all most people have been affected by COVID losing jobs or losing dividends. I will be working until I am 80. Can you simply fail to address issues because owners do not have the money? How does the OC meet the requirement of keeping a building in a state of good repair?


    Amanda Farmer

    Hi Leo0708,

    The short answer is yes, they can refuse to raise levies, but in that refusal they place the Owners Corporation in breach of its legal duty under section 106 of the Act to repair and maintain common property.

    This duty is strict and unavoidable. The law in this area is well settled: an Owners Corporation cannot avoid this obligation. To say “we don’t have the money” is not an acceptable excuse.

    At some point, a lot owner may need to go to the Tribunal and seek an order that the work be done – including an order that the money be raised to pay for it.

    If there is doubt that the committee will actually do the things the subject of the order (eg: call the meeting, recover any unpaid levies, engage and instruct the contractors), then the appointment of a compulsory managing agent would be the solution.

    If the committee is on board but the majority of other lot owners are not, then the order itself should be sufficient.



    Hello Leo, on this note , you could also consider a Strata Loan given the low interest rates rather than a hefty levy, or start to think about a Collective sale of your building which is a lengthy process , but might be a better financial solution to your situation.


    Dee (NSW)

    HI Novice,

    Do you have experience with a Collective Sale? Wondering if you actually receive ‘market value’ and who determines this?

    Also, interest rates are very low, but not everyone is in a position to be approved for a loan – no job = no loan.




    Hi Dee

    My understanding is that it is the Owners Corporation which applies for the loan, not the individual lot owners. The loan is repaid from levies.


    Governments are allowing developers to build shonky buildings because according to Federal/State Governments they will create employment.

    We know that new and older building need expensive repairs done by qualified people.  Do we have qualified people to do the work?  Are the governments training tradespeople to do the jobs that we need them to be doing?

    Why Fair Trading has a list of qualified people and the hourly rates we should be paying?

    Thanks Amanda

    Amanda Farmer

    Hi Dee, in relation to the loan, TheJoys is right – it’s the Owners Corporation who takes out the loan, not the owners. There are lenders who specialise in strata loans. These are unsecured loans. The lender does not look at each owner’s financial situation. For that reason, the interest rates are also much higher, usually 8 or 9% – even these days. Check out lannock.com.au who are one of these specialist providers.

    In relation to collective sale, the provisions of Part 10 of the Strata Schemes Development Act apply. The process is complex but yes, market value does play a role. You’d need specific legal advice if you wanted to explore this option.


    Dee (NSW)


    Thanks for the information relating to Collective Sale.

    Yes, I’m aware of OC strata loans already… I misread a previous comment.

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