October 2019 – Unpaid levies

Unpaid levies can be a financial headache for a body corporate, particularly a small body corporate. When the committee has taken all the inital actions of confirming that levies are getting through to the lot owner and sending reminders, what can they do?

The BCCM regulations require that they must take action if the debt owed is more than two years old, but there is nothing to preclude a committee starting earlier.

The most cost effective way to do that is through the small claims tribunal which is administered by QCAT. You can apply online. Make sure you have a committee resolution to approve the process before you start and to approve the cost of the application for which there is a filing fee of approximately $350 and a baliff service fee of ~ $50. These outlays can be recovered from the lot owner as permitted by the Act.

QCAT will review your application and return to you copies of your application which have been stamped with the QCAT seal (official stamp). You can then contact the baliff to have the documentation served on the lot owner.

Our experience is that once a lot owner is advised that this process is about to be commenced, levies are suddenly paid. For this reason, we suggest a final registered letter and email of demand to the lot owner advising that the QCAT application will be commenced in fourteen days time, that the cost of the action will be at the lot owner’s expense, and that the baliff will soon be knocking on their door … will have the desired impact in many cases … without requiring any further committee actions.