Strata Schemes offer housing such as units, townhouses and apartments, allowing people to be shared owners of a property, and can sometimes offer a cheaper solution to buying and owning your own home. The common areas of such schemes such as laundry, lifts, pool, gardens etc are also co-owned and any issues or problems are dealt with jointly. Such schemes are run and managed by an Owners’ Corporation, which is a separate legal entity.
If you are looking to buy one of these units, then it is always better to do a strata inspection in Sydney before making the decision to buy, so that you are well aware of everything you need to know about the scheme and the property. After paying so much money for your apartment or unit, you might wonder why you need to pay an additional amount for a strata inspection, but believe us when we tell you that it is well worth the money you spend on it, in order to avoid headaches and unpleasantness later on.
The following aspects of the property are covered when you get a strata inspection with strata reports in Sydney, carried out by professional inspectors.
- Information regarding the current ownership of the property.
- Voting rights of owners.
- History of major repair work carried out.
- Major repair work which has bee planned for the future.
- Information regarding levies, both regular and special levies.
- A forecast on the sinking fund.
- Details regarding insurance.
- Special policies regarding pets etc.
- Compliance documentation.
- Any disputes or breaches that have happened in the past.
- Minutes of Annual General Meetings and Council Meetings.
- Information regarding the Owners’ Corporation.
Once you get your strata report, you should read it carefully so that you are fully aware of all the necessary information about the scheme. Details that you should pay special attention to are:
Financial records – Check on the funding managed by the Owners’ Corporation and if they have sufficient funds to maintain and run the building, and can afford on-going maintenance work. Check on the capital fund and administrative fund and if they have sufficient funds for day-to-day expenses, as well as the quarterly and special levies that you will need to pay. Since there will be forecasted incomes and expenses, it will be easy for you to figure out if the Owners’ Corporation are getting sufficient funds to cover all the expenses.
Disputes – A harmonious and peaceful living environment is essential; hence it is good to check if there have been any disputes either between the Owners’ Corporation and residents, or even within the Owners’ Corporation itself, or if there are any on-going disputes such as these. You don’t want to be a part of any disputes such as these after you start living there.
Defects – From past records you will be able to get a pretty good idea regarding the defects that have come up with the building or scheme, and which may also come up again in the future, even if it is a brand-new building. Such defects can include water penetration, falling facades, cracks in the walls and many other things as well.
Legislative compliance – Check whether the Owner’s Corporation is adhering to all legal requirements and obligations such as fire safety, insurance, asbestos management etc. If these things are not being done then you should steer clear of such a scheme.
Signs of poor management – Make sure that there are no signs of poor management from the owners which can be evident from studying past financial statements, meeting minutes etc, so that you can get a good idea of how they manage funds, manage the maintenance of the building, are resolving issues etc. A poorly managed scheme is not something that you would want to invest your hard-earned money on.
While you might feel that getting a strata inspection in Sydney is a waste of your money, don’t! It is well worth the investment that you make in order to avoid major issues in the future.
This service is offered in many areas where there are strata schemes running, including Northern Beaches strata reports. Ensure that the company or firm handling the strata inspection is a professional company with years of experience and expertise in the required field.