If a unit owner refuses to pay levies to the Body Corporate then an order can be sought from the Tenancy Tribunal for payment. If the Order is made the unit owner will become a Judgment Debtor.

If the unit owner still fails to make full payment of the levies, legal costs and interest, an application can be made by the Body Corporate for the seizure and sale of assets owned by the unit owner. This can include an application to the High Court for the unit to be sold.

The application will include a Sale Order and Affidavit in Support, plus instructions to the High Court Sheriff and Bailiff, and the necessary filing fee.

The Sheriff will then proceed with the sale and this includes appointing a real estate agent to handle the sale, and advertising the property for sale. A reserve will also be fixed sufficient to cover the costs of sale and hopefully the debt owed.

Following the sale of the property the sale proceeds are distributed in the following order:

  1.     Any priority debt e.g. mortgages
  2.     The Court’s costs
  3.     The Judgment debt
  4.     Interest or costs on the Judgment debt
  5.     And finally any balance of the proceeds will be paid to the judgment debtor, the now former unit owner!

Once a Sale Order is issued, debtors who have, or can borrow, the money owed are usually keen to pay up to avoid having their assets sold from under them (often at a lower value than if sold privately), so a Sale Order can be a powerful tool to getting paid.