This question about strata maintenance fees and who pays for what has been answered by Jan Browne, Whittles Strata Partners.
Question: Our complex consists of a mix of villas and low rise. Why should villa owners contribute strata maintenance fees for lift maintenance, etc that are only present in the low rise building?
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I have been asked by a group of owners to contact you for a clarification about our strata maintenance fees.
Our complex contains 4 separate buildings: 2 are classified as “Villas” – double story with garages and a small courtyard. The other 2 buildings are 4 stories high and have lifts and both have central fire alarm systems.
At the last general meeting, we were told that under the Act everyone had to share costs of maintenance to the lifts, fire system and the cleaning of carpets etc in the hallways. The complex is 3 years old and the first 2 years the costs that applied solely to the high rise apartments were paid separately by the owners of the apartments.
We are just clarifying if this is accurate and that the whole complex costs (Levies / strata maintenance fees) are paid equally between the apartment owners and the villa owners.
Answer: Unless there are any changes registered as House Rules indicating certain responsibilities to the owners in the units, all owners would be responsible for all outgoings.
This complex would be Class A. Unless there are any changes registered as House Rules indicating certain responsibilities to the owners in the units, all owners would be responsible for all outgoings. This means the roof areas on the villas are also paid for by all owners.
It looks like the Owners Corporation never passed the necessary Unopposed Resolution and owners may have thought that the units with the lifts were to pay for these outgoings. If the resolution was passed then they may need a Special Resolution to remove or vary the resolution.
This is a difficult scenario and there are many instances where the contributions of levies to cover certain items appear to be unfair or disproportionate.
Extract from legislation.
(1) An owners corporation for a units plan may, from time to time, determine a contribution (a general fund contribution) required from its members for the corporation’s general fund.
(2) The general fund contribution payable for each unit is—
(a) the proportional share for the unit of the total general fund contribution; or
(b) a proportion of the total general fund contribution worked out in accordance with a method set out in an unopposed resolution.
(3) A resolution under subsection (2) (b) may provide that only stated unit owners, or unit owners in a stated class, are required to pay a particular contribution or a contribution of a particular kind.
(4) A resolution under subsection (2) (b) may only be—
(a) amended by unopposed resolution; and
(b) revoked by special resolution.
This post appears in Strata News #193.
- ACT: Q&A Levies issued but no approval of Owners Corporation budget
- ACT: Q&A Calling a Special General Meeting – What do I need to do?
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.