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Bodycorp broke me and my wallet

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Firstly, thank you for clicking on this link to view my story.
My intention is for first home buyers to become more aware of body corporations, vendors and conveyancers when buying your first home. The Australian dream of owning my first home has become an absolute nightmare for me due to a special levy debt that was raised in between the time I signed the contract and settlement.

As I'm sure many Australian's are going through an extremely difficult time finding accommodations I found myself in the same situation where I couldn't find anywhere to live because the house I was renting with my friend was being sold and the current rental crisis, I looked for months for a new home for my 2 cats and myself but was becoming closer and closer to becoming homeless.

My story begins in January 2023, when I signed a contract to purchase a beautiful apartment in Noble Park. I was so excited to finally be able to set roots, volunteer for my community and create a safe space for my friends and family to spend time and make great support network for each other.

My settlement was brought forward to the start of April but only 13 days later my dream had turned into a nightmare.
I was contacted by the body corporation seeking funds for a special levy for $61,199 that would be due in 5 days time. The special levy was struck 8 days after signing my contract and according to the law "If a special levy is struck after the date of contract the purchaser is liable to pay this amount in full".
I was never notified of this by the vendor or my conveyancer (it was not in my contract of sale and all mentions of rectification work were dated for 2020) and it had become too late for me to do anything to stop the full force of the body corporation potentially seeking funds in an aggressive way. (Bankruptcy or possession of property by the sheriff). I have pleaded with the owners corporation manager to give me a payment plan or another way to pay but have not been willing to help me.

I have sought legal council and they have told me I have a case; but the estimated amount to take this to the magistrates will cost $54,000; so it is not possible for me to chase this.
All I wish is to raise some funds to lighten the load for a loan to pay off this debt so that I won't be made bankrupt or have to face homelessness again.

I have a VCAT hearing against me for this debt to be collected. I hope that VCAT will be sympathetic to my case but the advice I have received from the National Debt Helpline is that body corporations have no moral obligation to provide payment plans and are taking people to bankruptcy courts weekly. I will update this after my hearing.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this, I appreciate it immensely.


Jessica Meads
Noble Park VIC

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