Traditionally body corporate levies have been based on unit entitlements. A unit entitlement is reflective of the value of one unit, compared to the value of others within the development. Once set, they have always been extremely difficult to change and that inflexibility has caused unfairness in sharing costs amongst body corporate members.
The costs for a lift for example may be borne by all unit title owners, but the lift may not be used at all by the ground floor units.
The new Unit Titles Act:
- Makes it easier (but not that easy) to change the basis on which people pay their levies by reducing the threshold for change from a unanimous decision to a 75% decision;
- Introduces the notion of a utility interest;
- Uses the utility interest to assess levies for long term maintenance, a contingency fund and operating costs;
- Introduces the notion of an ownership interest;
- Uses the ownership interest to assess levies for any capital improvements.
So you can expect that there might be more flexibility in the way in which owners are expected to meet costs of the development and that this flexibility might see the use of a fairer system that has better regard to the relevant benefits of the units.