10 Tips for Buying a Strata Property

Strata building inspection report

You’ve found the perfect unit! Great!

Before you commit to the purchase, you should inspect the records of the strata company. You can inspect the records in person or use the services of an independent inspector. Contact Strata Pulse for a strata records report.

When you inspect the strata company records look for the following:

1. What are you buying?

You may think the unit comes with a parking bay, storage area or courtyard, but this may not be correct. You need to confirm the boundaries of the unit. Check the strata plan and by-laws and get an expert opinion if you are unsure. Don’t rely on what the real estate agent tells you – they are not strata experts.

2. Is the property being properly managed?

Each strata company should have a Council to make decisions on behalf of the owners. Is a valid and effective Council in place? Apathy will cause the maintenance of the strata property to decline and reduce the value of your investment over time. This information will not be available in a strata building inspection report on just a single unit.

3. Does the strata company have sufficient funds?

Do you want to buy a unit only to find that soon after your purchase a large special levy is needed to raise funds for major repairs? A well-managed strata company will raise the necessary funds for required works and will have a reserve fund. This information will not be available in a strata building inspection report on just a single unit.

4. Is a building maintenance plan in place?

Well managed strata properties complete a building maintenance audit to identify building defects and schedule maintenance works. A failure to complete proper maintenance may see a decline in property value and possible loss of insurance coverage for some claims. This information will not be available in a strata building inspection report on just a single unit.

5. Is the property afflicted by on-going complaints, disputes and legal action?

If the communal health of the property is problematic it may be a grim living environment for you or your tenants. This information will not be available in a strata building inspection report on just a single unit.

6. Is the property adequately insured?

An insurance valuation should be regularly completed. The building could be underinsured risking potential losses, or the property may be over-insured which is a waste of money.

7. Are levies the same every year?

We all know that prices and cost are rising. Levies should be adjusted with small increases so that proper repair and maintenance can be completed. Over time the value of your investment will decline or additional levies will be required to funds for proper maintenance. This information will not be available in a strata building inspection report on just a single unit.

8. Are overdue levy payments choking the capacity of the strata company?

If levy arrears are not being pursued, eventually the shortfall will be paid by increased levies. This situation may be an indication of poor management. This information will not be available in a strata building inspection report on just a single unit.

9. Have safety hazards been identified at the strata property?

It is essential that if hazards are identified at the strata property, a prompt action plan is executed to remove any risk. Failure to act may negate the insurance cover and the insurer may decline to continue insurance coverage. This information will not be available in a strata building inspection report on just a single unit.

10. Can’t inspect the strata records yourself? Let someone do it for you.

A purchase into a strata scheme is a major investment, so you need all the information. A strata records report of the whole strata property lets you know what you are buying before you commit. A strata record report can be more useful than a strata building inspection report which focuses on a single unit.

Let Strata Pulse‘s experienced inspector analysis the records and save your time and stress.

As a potential buyer, you can reassure yourself and enhance your negotiating position by inspecting the records of the strata company.

Knowledge is power …….. and peace of mind.