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Body corporates

Body corporate or owners corporation fees are paid by owners of apartments or townhouses towards the shared costs of the block. The body corporate - which is made up of the owners - sets the fees. If the fees aren't paid, the body corporate can take legal action to recover them, plus interest and legal fees. This is a priority debt!

If you get behind on your body corporate fees it's important to take action.

Steps to take if you're struggling to pay your body corporate fees

01

Work out what you can afford to pay

If you're struggling to pay back money you owe, the first thing to do is to work out what you can actually afford to pay by doing a simple budget. How to work out what you can afford to pay.

If you can afford to pay something
Start paying the amount you can afford and get in touch with your creditor straight away to put a repayment agreement in place.

If you can't afford to pay anything
Call us on 1800 007 007 straight away for advice.

02

Contact the body corporate

Contact the body corporate and tell them you're having temporary difficulty making the repayments. Ask for a repayment arrangement with payments you can afford (based on step 1). At the same time, agree when you'll be able to return to paying the set fees, and how you'll pay any missed payments (plus interest).

If the body corporate agrees to an arrangement:

  • make sure they confirm it in writing
  • keep a copy of the agreement
  • stick to making the payments

If the body corporate won't agree to an arrangement:

  • keep paying what you can afford and keep trying to catch up
  • keep the body corporate informed about how you plan to get back on track
  • contact the consumer affairs or fair trading body in your state or territory, who may be able to help you conciliate an agreed arrangement with your body corporate; or continue to step 3
03

Contact us for financial advice

We may be able to help you work out a budget and negotiate with the body corporate. If your situation isn't temporary, and you won't be able to afford the body corporate fees for the foreseeable future, we can also help you work through other options (for example selling your apartment).

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If you've received demand letters from the body corporate or any court documents, contact us immediately for advice.

Can I lose my home?

Can I lose my home if I get behind with body corporate fees?

The body corporate can't take possession of your home just because you're behind with your fees.

However, the body corporate can take you to court to recover the fees you haven't paid. If the body corporate gets judgment against you they may be able to:

  • access your bank account or pay
  • take your personal property
  • ask for information about your financial situation
  • make you bankrupt (if the debt is over $5000). If you're made bankrupt, you may lose your home