Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
On 17 December 2013 the Victorian Parliament passed the Owners
Corporation Amendment Bill 2013 (Vic).
The purpose of the Act is expressed to be:
to clarify the basis on which annual fees are set by owners
to provide for the way in which owners corporations levy
special fees, and upgrading fees, and recover costs, in relation to
works that are wholly or substantially for the benefit of some or
one, but not all, lots.
The Owners Corporation Amendment Bill 2013 (Vic)
clarifies the way in which annual fees are set by owners
corporations and provides guidance on the way that owners
corporations levy certain fees in relation to works that do not
affect all lots. This is generally to be calculated on a basis of
which ever Lot owner receives the greatest benefit from the works,
will pay the most.
The new Act is about setting a fairer way in which certain
expenditure is apportioned between Lot owners.
The foundation stone for allocation of owners corporation
expenses is to divideexpenses between owners based on their Lot
liability as set out in the Plan of Subdivision. That is an
appropriate and fair way to do things in most cases.
The new Act tackles the issue of expenses incurred (particularly
major repairs or maintenance costs),that benefit only one or a few
Lots. This has been the source of much dispute over the years as
the current laws were not clear enough and limited what the owners
corporation could do.
Most people will view the new Act as providing a fairer way to
deal with such issues. As stated above it simply provides that the
Lots that benefit more from such works are to pay more and the
owners corporation is not forced to simply apportion the costs
between all Lots on the Lot liability basis.
However, there will undoubtedly still be arguments over what is
a fair apportionment, particularly where the repairs may be argued
to protect the integrity of the whole development even though on
the face of it the workmay only benefit a few Lots.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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