How can the owners corporation get non-paying owners to pay their levies on time? – Gwen, NSW

The owners corporation must take every step to ensure they’ve contacted and reminded the non-paying owners to make them aware of the consequences of not paying strata fees.

They must give the owner(s) at least 21 days’ notice of the action and recovery must be approved at a general meeting.  This notice must clearly outline the following:

  • the amount of the contribution, interest or expenses sought to be recovered;
  • details of the recovery action proposed;
  • date which the amount was due to be paid;
  • the manner in which the amount may be paid;
  • whether a payment plan may be entered into; and
  • any other action that may be taken to arrange for payment of the amount.

Owners corporations can recover debt by:

  1. Issuing a reminder levy notice 35 days after the levy due date.
  2. Sending the first levy recovery letter 60 days after the levy due date.
  3. Issuing the second levy recovery letter 75 days after the levy due date.
  4. Taking the help of a debt collection agency to pursue and prompt payment from owners who haven’t paid their fees and levies after 96 days of the original due date, and where the debt is more than $2,000
  5. Obtaining legal advice, and/or retain legal representation – the lawyer can issue a letter of demand and begin legal proceedings against the lot owner, mortgagee in possession, or former lot owner to recover the debt.

When owners in a strata scheme don’t pay levies even after multiple followups and reminders from the owners corporation, they can take it up with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

For more information on levies, debt recovery and more, read our article on debt recovery and levy payment plans