10 ways to keep body corporate levies in check

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Levies are a critical part of all body corporate schemes, funding the maintenance and upkeep of the common property, as well as the ongoing operation of the body corporate.

Keeping levies as low as possible, without compromising the quality and consistency of services and maintenance, can be challenging, but is achievable with a proactive approach from the committee and the residents at large.

This article looks at practical tips to keep body corporate levies in check.

1. Regular maintenance and inspections

Preventive maintenance is more cost-effective than major repairs. Schedule regular inspections of common areas, plumbing, electrical systems, and structural components to identify and address issues early. This helps avoid expensive emergency repairs and extends the lifespan of assets.

2. Energy efficiency improvements

Invest in energy-efficient lighting, heating, and cooling systems for common areas. Install solar panels or explore alternative energy sources to reduce utility bills such as LED lights in place of standard light bulbs. These investments often pay for themselves over time.

3. Get competitive on contracts

Always seek multiple quotes for services such as cleaning, landscaping, and maintenance. Competitive tendering ensures you get the best value for money. Consider renegotiating existing contracts periodically to ensure prices don’t creep up.

4. Efficient use of resources

Optimise the use of resources like water and electricity in common areas. Implement water-saving measures like water tanks and drought-resistant landscaping and install timers on lights and irrigation systems. Encourage residents to report any waste or misuse of resources.

5. Insurance review and risk management

Work with your body corporate manager to review your insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage at competitive rates. Implement risk management strategies, such as improving security and fire safety measures, to potentially lower insurance premiums.

6. Get residents involved

Encourage residents to volunteer for small maintenance tasks – gardening, minor repairs or paint touch-ups, to save the body corporate paying for these services.

7. Bulk Purchasing

Where possible, buy supplies in bulk to take advantage of discounts, including cleaning supplies, pool chemicals, or landscaping materials.

8. Review the sinking fund

Review the sinking fund and its contributions. Planning for long-term repairs and upgrades helps distribute costs over time, reducing the chance of significant levy increases or special levies or loans. See our article When to Review the Sinking Fund Forecast.

9. Remove unnecessary costs

Are there any unnecessary costs? For example, an outdated water feature that’s costly to run and maintain could be removed to save the body corporate money over the long term.

10. Educate residents

Encourage residents on how levies work and the importance of cost-saving measures that contribute to savings for the body corporate. Every little bit helps in effectively managing and potentially lowering body corporate contributions while still ensuring a well-maintained property.

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