Friday, April 30, 2010

Body Corporate Levy Equalisation Farce

On February 19th Peter Lawlor announced changes in the legislation so that "millionaire penthouse owners" would no longer be able to exploit a loophole to have their Body Corporate Levies slashed at the expense of smaller unit owners.

In recent years there have been a number of applications for equalisation of levies in Bodies Corporate based on the premise that the levies go towards the maintenance of the common property. As every owner has an equal share of common property the theory was that every owner should pay the same amount irrespective of the value of the unit.

The original calculation of levies set by the Developer is often based on the size of the unit and the floor level ie the units on higher floors usually pay higher levies.

I interviewed Peter Lawlor on my radio programme on Jazz Radio 94.1fm shortly after he made the announcement. He argues that owners should be able to rely on the levies that were set by the Developer and an owner of a penthouse should pay more than an owner of small ground floor apartments.

There are obviously good arguments on both sides but there are currently applications to equalise the levies before QCAT formerly CCT that have been left in the "too hard basket" for more than a year.

Since Peter Lawlor's announcement, QCAT has not communicated the progress of at least one application, presumably waiting for the legislation to go through. This is a farsical situation. One applicant has argued that a court can not and should not hold off making a legal decision because the legislation "might" change. He argues that the current law applies and that a ruling should be made on that basis.

Of course, others argue that it would be ridiculous for QCAT to rule on the current law only to have their ruling overturned months later when the legislation changes.

Either way, QCAT should communicate the current status to all owners who are embroiled in these expensive and ongoing applications.


The opinions expressed in this blog are personal and not intended in to be advice in any way. I have spent many years participating on a number of different Body Corporate Committees. I am a dealer in Vintage Movie Memorabilia specialising in original movie posters and movie art. also present a radio programme on Jazz Radio 94.1fm Monday - Friday afternoons on the Gold Coast.

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