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Q: Does a body corporate have the right to evict sectional title owners over unpaid levies?

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 A: Levies are not optional and owners have a legal duty to pay them in full and on time. Non-payment by one or more owners can put a very real strain on the health of a sectional title scheme and recovering those costs is absolutely vital.

But body corporates cannot just evict an owner for unpaid levies; a legal process needs to take place. However, the legal process required to do this is long, complex and costly, and doesn’t always work out the way people assume.

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There are two main options available to body corporates when an owner fails to pay levies and does not respond to attempts to resolve the matter amicably. The first is to lodge the matter with the Community Schemes Ombud Services.

The second is to approach the courts. While many schemes’ default reaction to owners in arrears is to turn to the courts, this isn’t necessarily the best – or fastest – way to resolve the issue. Approaching the ombud is generally a better idea. It costs less and doesn’t require the involvement of attorneys. – Craig Mott, regional sales manager for the Rawson Property Group

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