Strata Properties

You’re about to make an offer on a strata unit and of course, you consider the condition of the property.

When you are dealing with strata, the most important inspection you can make is the strata inspection which, for a little investment can provide a lot of peace of mind.

What is Strata?

Strata schemes introduce the concept of “common property”, which is that part of the property not owned by any individual, but rather all of the owners together, who form the “Owner’s Corporation”.

From the gardens to the driveway, hallway, stair wells, pool, lifts and common laundry, you’ll be jointly responsible for dealing with any building issues that arise. MOST importantly, the building itself is common property – that’s right – you do not own the building, you own the right to occupy it. The Owner’s Corporation owns the building.

The Owner’s Corporation is required to maintain their own bank accounts so that funds are available for works that arise. Each owner will contribute levies to the fund.

What is a Strata Inspection Report

A strata inspection report is a full review of the Owners Corporation records. It does not inspect the building itself but inspects the records held by the Owners Corporation. Since you are dealing with common property, any issues that have arisen on the common property will probably be documented in the records.

We will arrange the strata inspection for you before you are committed to the property, so that you make the decision to buy with full knowledge of the state of the Owners Corporation.

When do I need a Strata Inspection Report?

Like any other inspection, the strata inspection will need to be done prior to exchange of contracts. This is because the contract you are entering will say that you are buying the property in its current state – in other words, after you exchange contracts, it is too late – you’ve bought it anyway.

What is included in a Strata Inspection Report?

A strata inspection report covers all the aspects involved in the administration and maintenance of the common property, including:

  • Current property ownership and voting rights
  • Structural or building defects
  • Planned or previous major works
  • Quarterly levies and proposed special levies
  • Bank Balance
  • Capital Works fund forecast
  • Strata scheme insurance cover and/or claims
  • Pet policies
  • Harmony between residents
  • Compliance documentation
  • Litigation, disputes and/or breaches of by-laws.

Important Things to Look for in Your Strata Inspection Report

The Strata Inspection Report is only as good as the records kept by the Owners Corporation. Most are managed by professional Strata Managers and special care should be taken if that is not the case. You should consider the quality of the strata management as well as the content of the report.

The most important review to most buyers would be a comparison between funds held, planned works and the Capital Works Fund forecast.

In addition, it is important to read and understand the bylaws because they may impact on your intended use of the property

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