The installation of prepaid meters in sectional title schemes is usually done because the body corporate of that scheme has deemed it to be necessary to have these units installed, and it is usually paid for out of the funds that the body corporate has put aside for this purpose or they will have raised a special levy to do so.
But what happens when these units need some form of maintenance?
Michael Bauer, general manager of the property management company, says that this question is often asked and the answer is that the body corporate is responsible for arranging the maintenance of the prepaid meters and to ensure that the payment for this is made.
Prescribed Management Rule 33 (3) says that “Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-rules (1) and (2), the trustees shall, if so required in writing by a majority of owners, procure the installation and maintenance in good working order, at the body corporate's cost, of separate meters to record the consumption of electricity, water and gas in respect of each individual section and the common property.”
If there are no funds available for this job to be done, he said, then a special levy will have to be raised to pay for the project.
“Indirectly one would say that the owners do end up paying for the maintenance of the units if they have to pay a special levy but the onus is on the body corporate to ensure that they are kept in good working order and to make allowance for the funds to do so in their annual budget,” said Bauer.