Why do we pay levies?
Levies and fees are critically important because they pay for the safety, insurance, maintenance, and necessary utilities for common property areas. When you buy into a property that has levies and fees, you legally agree to make these contributions as required. What’s more, paying levies on time ensures your property is well maintained to hold or increase its value.
How do my levies get used?
Your levies are an estimated cost of your property’s expenses per year. The forecasted costs are budgeted and divided between the lot owners of the property. The levies are collected and held in your property’s financial account. To keep your strata scheme running smoothly and in good condition, your property needs to pay for some or all of the following:
- Maintenance and upkeep of the building
- Periodic or unexpected repairs
- Building insurance
- Strata management fees
- An onsite facilities manager
- Utilities to any common areas (for example, electricity to run elevators or lighting common areas)
- Maintenance and upkeep of any common areas and amenities
Your property may also choose to pay higher levies to create a sinking fund. This fund is held in reserve as savings account for unexpected repairs and costs. Properties who choose not to budget for this fund may need to issue a “special levy” (a levy in addition to the standard levy amount) to all owners when unexpected repairs or unbudgeted property maintenance is required. This decision is at the discretion of the property owners and will form part of the budget that is approved at your property’s AGM.
Your levies do not go to your strata manager. Your property’s strata management fees are usually a very small percentage of your property’s expenses. You can review your property’s budget and account balances anytime, from anywhere with CommunityHub. For any customer not yet registered for CommunityHub, you can find this information in your previous AGM documents.
What if I’m struggling to pay my fees and levies?
While the success of community living relies upon each owner making their contribution, sometimes we fall on financially hard times, and regular payments aren’t possible. When this happens, your strata, body corporate, or owners corporation manager can help you apply and submit a payment plan to your committee.
Your committee will assess the reasons you provided when applying for a payment plan, calculate whether the property can afford to have you on a plan and decide to accept or deny.
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