Did you know that the Sheriff can play an important role in the recovery of overdue strata levies?
How, you ask?
1. The Sheriff can be a very important ally when an owner fails to pay their strata levies, ignores repeated requests for payment and all else fails. So let’s bring in the Sheriff! Here’s how:
A Sheriff may act on a writ that we have arranged for the court to issue. Firstly, the Sheriff will attempt contact with the debtor via phone or written correspondence. If there’s no response the Sheriff will attend the debtor’s property and seize assets to be sold at auction to cover the value of the levy collection debt.
Sheriffs have been known to seize cars, bikes and household goods etc. This is called a ‘Sheriffs sale’ – it’s important to note that sometimes these can take time.
On a positive note, often just the Sheriff turning up on the debtor’s doorstep will action them into paying their strata levies.
2. Also, upon obtaining a Supreme Court Order for possession of a property, the Sheriff can then take possession of the property so it can be sold to pay the strata levy debt.
3. Sheriffs can also assist when the debtor has ignored an examination order to attend the court to explain his or her financial circumstances, an arrest warrant can be issued and the Sheriff can then arrest the debtor and take them to the court to be examined.
This can assist you in ascertaining the debtor’s financial circumstances and obtaining employment information so you can take further action and garnishee wages for payment of the outstanding strata levies.
So, how can you help?
Did you know that all Sheriff matters initially now go to the COU? From here, the Sheriff will attempt to make contact with the debtor via written correspondence and phone calls.
So, if you’re able to provide the debtor’s phone numbers at this point the Sheriff will more than often get a much better result.
Licence Plate Numbers
If the Sheriff has had no luck when phoning the person they will visit their premises during business hours and if the person isn’t available (as most people aren’t during these hours) they will leave a business card requesting them to call the Sheriff’s office. Clearly, this is often ignored by the owner who is choosing not to pay their outstanding strata levies.
Again, if you can provide us with the licence plate number of the car the owner drives there is a strong chance that this will help us (and the Sheriff) locate the debtor quicker and recover the outstanding strata levies.
So, the Sheriff can be very effective in being that extra length of the stick to ‘poke the bear’ – and yes, some strata levy debtors will respond to the Sheriff even though they’ve already ignored repeated requests for payment of overdue levies.
Oh, and did you know…
Some interesting historical information on what was once part of a Sheriff’s role in NSW. They were once responsible for:
- Carrying out death sentences in criminal cases
- Discharging the duties of the Coroner
- Running the gaols
- Executing all the judgments, decrees and orders of the Supreme Court
For NSW strata legal or levy collection advice please contact us here or call 02 9562 1266, we’re happy to assist.