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昆州政府 BCCM 辦事處處長對於小區物業費有話說…
昆州政府 BCCM 辦事處處長對於小區物業費有話說…

22nd July, 2019

昆州政府 BCCM 辦事處處長對於小區物業費有話說…

原文作者:Chris Irons, BCCM Commissioner 

翻譯: Paul P Shih 施伯欣老師

 

Let’s talk about money.

我們來談談錢吧!

 

It’s a subject everyone has an opinion on, and this is also true about finances in the body corporate context.

這是每個人都有意見的話題,在法人團體背景下的財務也是如此。

 

While the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the Act) and its Regulation Modules are prescriptive about the process for collecting and then spending body corporate funds, I know that there remains uncertainty in the sector about some of these financial issues.

雖然1997年《法人團體和社區管理法》(該法)及其註冊模組對收集然後支出法人團體的資金過程有規定,但我知道行業內對於其中一些財務問題有很多不確定的地方。

 

In this next series of articles, I will address several body corporate financial issues that are common sources of enquiry to my office. In this first part, I will begin by talking a bit philosophically – why is there a requirement for owners to pay ongoing levies and what are these meant to be used for any-way?

在這一系列文章中,我將討論幾個我辦公室常被詢問的有關於物業法人團體的財務問題。在第一篇文章中,我將首先講一點道理 - 為什麼要求業主持續支付物業費,這些物業費是要用來做什麼的?

 

While a body corporate is not a commercial entity, it does have day-to-day operational needs. Bills need to be paid. Services such as repairs and insurance that have been engaged and then carried out need to have money to cover them. This is why the Act requires the setting of budgets and, stemming from that, the payment of levies by owners.

雖然法人團體不是商業實體,但它確實有日常運營需求。它也需要支付帳單,確認進行的維修和保險等服務需要有錢來支付。這就是為什麼法律要求制定預算,並因此由業主繳納物業費。

 

To put it more simply, owners’ levies pay for the body corporate to fulfil its obligations – which are, of course, the owners’ obligations at the end of the day. I don’t know of anyone who enjoys paying bills and especially regular, recurrent bills.

簡單地來說,業主支付物業費是為了讓法人團體能夠履行其義務 ——當然,法人團體的義務最終也就是業主們的義務。我不知道有誰喜歡付帳單,尤其是週期性、經常性的帳單。

 

That said, it is a fact of life that some things require an ongoing commitment of finances and when someone is an owner of a lot in a community title scheme, their commitment includes paying levies.

這就是說,有些事情需要持續的財政支持是不爭的事實,而當您是分契式產權社區內的業主時,您的責任就包括支付物業費。

 

Let’s address a few common misconceptions about levies:

讓我們談談關於物業費的一些常見誤解:

 

•       At the risk of stating the obvious, levies are due…when they are due. While it is commonplace for a levy notice to be sent out in advance of the due date – as is the case with most other bills we pay in life – it remains the owner’s responsibility to pay by the due date. Saying “I didn’t get a reminder notice” or “The notice didn’t go to the correct address” is not necessarily a defence for not having paid on time. To be clear, levies are set at the annual general meeting, which means the minutes will reflect both what levies are payable and when.

•       雖然我不說大家也知道,當物業費到期應繳時,就應該要繳。雖然在到期日前發出物業費通知帳單是大家司空見慣的,正如我們在生活中支付的大多數其他帳單一樣,但業主仍有責任在到期日前付款。說「我沒有得到提醒通知」或「通知沒有寄到正確的地址」不一定是沒有按時付款的辯護理由。需要明確的是,物業費是在年度業主大會上通過的,這意味著會議記錄將反映應繳納的物業費額度和何時該付款。

 

•       There is no connection in the Act between payment of levies and some other action. For example, there is no provision in body corporate legislation that says an owner can withhold their levy payment until the body corporate approves their request or enforces its by-laws. Nor is there any legislative basis for a lot owner to say, “Well my neighbour hasn’t paid their levies, so I’m not going to either.”

•       法律中並沒有把支付物業費和其他一些行動之間聯繫起來。例如,法人團體法律中沒有任何規定允許一個業主在法人團體批准其請求或執行那些住戶公約之前可以拒付物業費。也沒有法律依據讓一個業主說,「反正我的鄰居沒有付物業費,所以我也不付」。

 

•       There is nothing in the Act or the Regulation Modules which provides an automatic entitlement for either a discount for early or on-time payment of levies, or which compels the body corporate to enter into a payment plan with an owner. While a body corporate and owners can enter into these sorts of arrangements – and indeed, they are fairly common-place – it is not as of right.

•       法律或法規模組中沒有任何規定為提前或按時支付稅款提供自動的折扣,或強制法人團體與業主簽訂一個還款計畫。雖然法人團體與業主們之間這類型的安排相當普遍 —— 但這不是這權力。

 

Apart from these misconceptions, perhaps the most important consequence of non-payment of levies is that it may prevent an owner from voting at general meetings. Even being a few dollars short on one’s account can leave an owner “unfinancial” and this means they may not get to vote on motions which would have a direct impact upon them.

除了這些常見的誤解,或許不繳物業費的最重要的後果,可能是限制了業主在業主大會上投票的權利。即使帳上少了幾塊錢,業主也會成為「欠款業主」,這意味著他們可能無法向對他們會產生直接影響的議案進行表決。

 

It is a daily occurrence that my office hears from lot owners who believe they shouldn’t have to pay a body corporate debt of some kind and who are firmly of the belief they are “in the right” about their reasons for not paying.

我的辦公室每天都聽到很多業主的抗議,他們相信他們不應該支付某些物業法人團體的債務,他們堅信自己有不支付該物業費的理由。

 

I’m certainly not going to tell anyone that their strongly-held reasons are misguided or wrong and neither do I hold any policing powers to compel owners to pay. That said, the point both I and my team always make is that in our view, you are far better off to pay the debt, become financial and thus, exercise your voting rights – then, if you still feel the need to, look at following up later on the disputed amount.

我當然不會告訴任何人,他們強而有力的理由其實是被誤導的或是錯誤的;我也沒有任何強制執法的權力來迫使業主支付。話雖如此,我和我的團隊始終提出的觀點是:在我們看來,把債務償還了不再因為欠錢而失去你的投票權,要好得多 —— 如果你仍然覺得有必要,那麼有了投票權以後再考慮對有爭議的金額提案追回。

 

One thing that might be difficult to predict and manage is financial difficulty and hardship. Sometimes, these things happen with no warning and despite the best of intentions, an owner may simply just not have the money to pay their levies.

From the owner’s perspective, there are some critical points about this to bear in mind. The key things in my view are to be as open about it as possible, as early as possible. I appreciate that it is very confronting to have to put one’s hand up to say that you are experiencing tough financial times and can’t pay. While there isn’t a need to divulge your full financial position to the world, a general discussion about it can make a significant difference.

有一件事可能是難以預測和管理的,那就是財政困難和困境。有時,這些事情發生時是無法預知的,儘管業主是想付款,但可能就是沒有錢支付他們的物業費。從業主的角度考慮,有一些關鍵點要記住。在我看來,關鍵是盡可能早點坦白。我明白要舉手承認自己正面臨財務困難是讓人難堪的。我不是要你向全世界宣布你的全部財務狀況,但是進行討論可以帶來很大的差別。

 

For example, if you know that in a month’s time, when your levies will be due, that you won’t be able to pay some or all of the levy, then that is the time to start the discussion with your body corporate about it – not, for example, the day or week after the due date. Early discussion about financial circumstances demonstrates good faith on the part of the owner. If there are particular circumstances at play then it might be a good idea to mention those. An example might be if an owner is experiencing a medical condition which is making it impossible for them to earn an income or the same income they once were earning.

例如,如果你知道,在一個月後,當你的物業費將到期時,你將無法支付部分或全部的物業費,那麼你應該盡早的開始與你的業委會經理討論這件是 - 而不是等到截止日期後的一天或一周。及早討論財務狀況表現出業主的誠意。如果有特殊的狀況影響了你,那麼最好提及這些情況。例如,這個業主正在接受治療,而讓他們無法賺取任何收入或者是過去曾經有的收入。

 

Another way of demonstrating good faith is an under-taking to pay at least some of the levy. A small amount may seem token but in the long run it may demonstrate your willingness to meet your financial obligations which in turn may make the body corporate more willing to make an allowance for you and your financial circumstances.

另一種釋放善意的方式是至少支付部分物業費。一小筆錢可能看起來是象徵性的,但從長遠來看,它可能表明你願意履行你的財務義務。這可能使法人團體更願意為您和您的財務狀況提供點寬限。

 

Up to this point my focus has been on lot owners and their responsibilities in relation to payment of levies. In part two of this series, I will focus on the responsibilities of the body corporate and its committee to be responsible and accountable for how they spend body corporate funds.

這一期,我的重點是業主和他們支付物業費的責任。在本系列的第二篇文章中,我將重點討論法人團體及其委員會的責任,即對它們如何使用法人團體資金的責任和問責。

 

For further information please contact the Information and Community Engagement Unit on 1800 060 119 or visit our website www.qld.gov.au/bodycorporate

欲瞭解更多資訊,請致電1800 060 119聯繫我們的資訊和社區參與部,或訪問我們的網站www.qld.gov.au/bodycorporate

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