If you are unable to afford strata levies or body corporate fees due to the impact of a high cost of living, there are a few options you might consider.
Discuss Payment Plan
While some strata managers or body corporates will be charging higher interest on unpaid levies as well as sending out a debt collection agency letter demanding payment, others may be empathetic and open to negotiation and discussion.
Contact your strata manager or body corporate committee. Explain your situation and ask if there are any options available to help you, such as a payment plan or temporary deferral of payments. If agreed to, it can help you manage the payments while still being able to maintain your property.
Any discussion should be followed up in writing so that you have clarity on what was agreed, including start date, end date, what’s payable, what fees are deferred and or waived for what time period, and what are the consequences if the agreement is not upheld.
Seek Financial Assistance
Check if you’re eligible for government assistance or other financial hardship, you may be eligible for government assistance. Check with your local government and relevant agencies to see what options are available to you.
Consider your budget and expenses
Review your budget and expenses to see if there are any areas where you can cut back or reduce costs. You may be able to find ways to save money on utility bills, for example, which could free up some funds to put towards your strata levies or body corporate fees.
Seek guidance from a financial counsellor
A financial counsellor can help you create a budget, negotiate with creditors and provide support that is suitable for your circumstances. You can find a free financial counsellor through the National Debt Helpline.
- Call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007
- Try the National Debt Helpline’s live chat service, which is available 9:00 am to 8.00 pm weekdays. If you send a message outside these hours a financial counsellor will get back to you
- Make an appointment to see a financial counsellor in your local area – Find a local Financial Counsellor.
It’s important to take actions early and communicate with your strata manager or body corporate committee if you’re having trouble paying your strata levies or body corporate fees. They may be able to work with you to find a solution that works for both parties. Further help is available from the National Debt Helpline’s Strata Levies.
Things you should know
This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.
© Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 233714.