A Qld lot owner would like to know if they can refuse a levy increase. Todd Garsden, Hynes Legal provides the following response.
Question: Can strata lot owners refuse a levy increase proposed by new body corporate managers if we do not feel the increase is warranted?
Can strata lot owners object to a body corporate fee increase if we do not feel the increase is warranted? Our body corporate changed body corporate managers and the new strata managers are now intending to increase the strata fees.
Answer: If an owner disputes the levies then they have rights to do so by voting against the budget and levy at the general meeting.
I think the first thing to remember is that the strata manager is not increasing their fees – the levies are proposed by the committee and approved by owners at the general meeting. The strata manager will normally provide a recommendation to the committee based on the anticipated expenditure. With increases like this, it normally indicates that the prior years were under-budgeted and now that needs to be made up for.
If an owner disputes the levies then they have rights to do so by voting against the budget and levy at the general meeting. It can then be challenged in the Commissioner’s Office but you would need to show that the budgeted expenditure is not a reasonable estimate of the costs to be incurred by the body corporate as opposed to simply arguing about them being increased.
This post appears in Strata News #252.
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