Are you mulling over a question about your strata fees, but unsure of how or who to ask about it? You can be sure as strata managers we’ve probably heard it before. Here, we answer some of the curlier questions we’re commonly asked about NSW strata fees.
1. Why do I actually need to pay strata fees?
Your strata fees, also known as strata levies, are an incredibly important aspect of owning property within a strata scheme. These fees help to insure, manage, maintain and repair common property, which depending on where you live can include the building itself, staircases, corridors, elevators, gardens and swimming pool.
2. I don’t use my building’s swimming pool. Does that mean I can pay lower strata fees?
Your strata fees are calculated in proportion to the unit entitlement of the property you own within your strata scheme. So unfortunately you won’t get a discount if you’re not a regular swimmer – but we do encourage you to make the most of your building’s amenities to get full value from your fees!
3. What happens if I don’t pay my strata fees?
You won’t be able to vote at general meetings of your owners corporation until you have paid your strata fees. Interest may also be charged on the unpaid amount until it’s paid, so it’s in your own interest to pay as early as possible – you may even be able to pay less if you pay early.
4. Help! What do I do if I need more time to pay my strata levies?
It’s understandable that sometimes several bills can all land in the inbox at once. You can speak with your strata manager or write to your strata committee to request a payment plan, which if approved can give you more time to pay your strata fees.
5. Are strata fees tax deductible?
You’ll need to speak with your accountant about your specific circumstances, but regular strata fees are typically tax deductible so don’t forget to consider this when it comes to tax time.
6. Can I take out my own insurance instead of paying strata insurance?
Strata insurance is mandatory, and it covers the common property for your strata scheme so it’s a necessary part of strata fees. It may be worth taking out your own home and contents insurance as well, as your unit and belongings won’t be covered by your strata insurance.
7. I don’t agree about a fee rise in my strata scheme. What can I do?
Strata fee increases must be agreed to at a general meeting of your owners corporation, and therefore you can have a proportional say in whether they go ahead. Keep in mind that sometimes special levies or fee increases may be necessary to minimise more expensive outlays later on, although an effective strata manager will generally work to keep increases to a minimum.
8. I haven’t received a strata fee notice for a long time so I just didn’t pay. Is that OK?
Your strata fees need to be paid whether or not you receive a notice. If you haven’t received a notice, it’s worth asking your strata manager or strata committee secretary. And if you feel your strata manager isn’t communicating as well as they should be, it may be time for a new strata managing agent such as Jamesons Strata Management. You can explore our services in more detail, or contact us today to discuss changing strata managers.