In order to alleviate financial pressure, owners who are unable to pay levies due to job loss or tenants not paying rent because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis are offered a financial lifeline by strata corporations.
Lannock Strata Finance CEO Paul Morton said the owners’ corporation in this situation can take advantage of a product called Levy Assist, which provides a loan to help manage levy payments.
Levy Assist generally provides a year’s funding for all owner corporations, and more if required, and enables an owners’ corporation to meet its financial obligations way past the anticipated end of the virus crisis.
“Levies are the lifeblood of the body corporate system as they cover the cost of maintaining the building, insurance and other running costs,” Mr Morton said.
“Given the economic downturn due to COVID-19, many owners are afraid that they will be unable to pay their levies. This will mean people who maintain strata complexes such as gardeners, builders and cleaners won’t be paid.
As a flexible option, the financial lifeline basically acts as a safety net for strata, which the corporation can opt out of using. In the case of unuse, they will not be required to pay any amount.
The borrower also decides the length of time for which they will need assistance, meaning that they will not be restricted to the usual three- or six-month period.
“The Levy Assist loan puts the owners in control. We don’t tell the corporation what amount we’ll lend, we let the owners work out what is best in their situation. There is a standard term and interest only period, but we’ll also adjust that if you want something different.”
“We don’t ask for personal financial information, there’s no security, set up cost, bank liens, fees, charges, caveats or personal guarantees. We let you pay it back over time or in one hit whenever you like without penalty.”
“Levy Assist gives control to owners. The corporation can decide each month whether to fund its needs by drawing on the loan or by using funds from other sources,” he highlighted.
According to Mr Morton, the decision about levies and loans should be made at a body corporate general meeting.
“Every owner corporation is different and owners have different needs and objectives – the general meeting is the place to decide which is best for each particular group.”
Emma Ryan is the deputy head of editorial at Momentum Media.
Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, and has since been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia, including across the legal, mortgages, real estate and wealth industries. In addition, Emma has launched several additional sub-brands and events, driven by a passion to deliver quality and timely content to audiences through multiple platforms.
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