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  • #49214

    Property is in Vic. 8 apmt building. Normal owners Corp fees paid on time. During time of financial stress from Covid-19, on reduced work hours & potential unpaid leave. Owners Corp, in addition to normal fees, are now choosing to do apartment upgrades that require additional $2500 pp levy. The works are to other apmts, mine does not need the work (on windows). Do I have to pay these fees? Can my apmt be removed from these works? What happens if I don’t pay special levy (but would still pay normal fees). Thanks

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  • #49460

    I would imagine a strata scheme starts to become unworkable when owners pick and choose when they will opt in or out of levies because their apartment is not part of a particular repair. One day it may all the other owners who will be contributing to a repair on your abode. A cost that could be minor or indeed major & costly. In Strata schemes when it comes to levies and repairs you win some, you lose some.


    Thank you so much for the advice & direction. I’m reading up on the benefit principle now. Repair of windows was raised at the agm 12 months ago. The repairs are required to some of the apmts but not all. Quotes just been presented & offered for approval. I said I wouldn’t (couldn’t) pay at this time. I have asked for confirmation that my apmt was noted as needing repairs and they simply advised I was part of body Corp so need to pay. So no straight answer because mine needs no work. I asked if my apmt could be removed as no repairs required, and I would cover my own costs if needed in future. Again been told I have to pay but they can be flexible with pmt. They took a vote & the others, whose apmts were affected, voted to proceed with majority vote. I’m happy to pay for garden or plumbing etc as this is common space, but this seems unfair.


    I stand (1.5m away) corrected.  Thanks.


    I agree with Jimmy-T but point out:

    It won’t be s.49 (Cost of repairs, maintenance or other works) of the OC Act that applies because that section is about cost recovery when the OC has already paid for the works.

    It will be s.24 (Extraordinary fees) that will apply.  That’s when an OC raises special levies.   But the “benefit principle” still applies in s.24.

    Also, if the works are being done and funded over time in stages, with all lot windows either planned to be replaced or have already been replaced, it’s likely that the “benefit principle” won’t apply at all.




    Yeah, but no. This is in Victoria, where section 49 of the Act (below) which allows owners corps to only charge owners for repairs to common property that affect their lots and exclude others from the payment.

    I would approach the committee with a request to be excluded from the payment completely with a clear indication that you will take this to Consumer Affairs and VCAT if they refuse.

    Owners Corporation Act Victoria (2006)
    Section 49 – Cost of repairs, maintenance or other works

    (1)     An owners corporation may recover as a debt the cost of repairs, maintenance or other works undertaken wholly or substantially for the benefit of one or some, but not all, of the lots affected by the owners corporation from the lot owners.

    (2)     The amount payable by the lot owners is to be calculated on the basis that the lot owner of the lot that benefits more pays more.

    (3)     The works referred to in this section may be to the common property or a lot.


    Easy answers first.

    If the special levies were passed at a general meeting, then yes you have to pay them. Failure to pay will usually incur interest payments and you lose your voting rights.

    If this is maintenance work, then the OC has an obligation to effect repairs irrespective of the circumstances.

    If this is not repairs, find some other owners who would like the levies and works deferred.

    Notify the secretary that you want to put a motion to defer the non repairs and levies.

    You need a minimum number of owners to support this in order to call an egm.

    It’s then only a matter of having a majority at the meeting to approve your motion.


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