My body corporate is considering purchasing and supplying bulk electricity to the scheme’s owners and occupiers. What do I need to know?
The body corporate may only supply electricity to, and recover the cost of that from, the scheme’s owners and occupiers by way of an agreement with them.
Adjudicators have taken the view that, where there is no agreement, invoices issued for the supply of a service such as electricity are void and of no effect.
A by-law dealing with the recovery of the cost to supply electricity is not a valid basis upon which a body corporate can recover those monies.
The body corporate must ensure that the total cost of supplying the service, including the cost of associated utility infrastructure, is recovered from the users of the service.
So that there is no dispute about the existence, and terms, of any such agreement, it should be put in writing and signed by both the body corporate and the owner or occupier.
Where electricity is supplied directly by the utility service provider to the owners and occupiers, each lot is not separately metered and the body corporate takes on liability for owners and occupiers, the body corporate must satisfy the liability in one of two ways:
- from the contributions paid by the owners;
- from a levy imposed on individual lot owners in the following way:
a) for lots which the body corporate has a way of measuring, according to the extent of the supply;
b) for lots which the body corporate does not have a way of measuring, either equally between the owners or proportionately according to the contribution schedule lot entitlement.
If you would like to discuss any of the above issues, or body corporate issues more generally, please telephone Bronwyn Ablett on (07) 3226 3944.
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