Why you need to read a pre-purchase strata report carefully

Posted on: 20 January 2020

If you have been considering purchasing a strata-titled property, then it is important that you understand exactly what you are buying and what responsibilities may come with the purchase. One of the easiest ways to find out what you need to know is by obtaining a report on the property you want to buy. Pre-purchase strata reports can give you all of the answers you need in a concise easy to digest format. Here is everything you need to know about pre-purchase strata reports and how they can help you.

What is a strata title?

Sometimes people make the mistake of purchasing a strata title without fully understanding what that involves. Buying a strata tile will give you ownership of your apartment, lot or whatever individual piece of property you want, but with that, you will also have shared ownership of common property. This common property might be the stairwells or roof of your apartment block or the gardens and driveways on your housing estate. Whatever the common property may be, it will involve you in some responsibilities and costs. Pre-purchase strata reports can set out the full nature of these costs and responsibilities so that you understand your obligations before you buy.

What can pre-purchase strata reports tell you?

The main function of a strata report is to lay out clearly the way in which a property is organised. It will look at issues such as the following:

  • What is the value of the building and what are the quarterly levies?
  • Who receives the levies and when are they paid?
  • Have any special levies been proposed to deal with known building defects or ongoing work?
  • Are there any known building defects which are not yet being repaired?

The report will then go on to examine the structure of the strata scheme and explain management issues such as the following:

  • Your voting rights and unit entitlement
  • The financial health of any funds associated with the strata scheme
  • Is the strata scheme legally compliant? Are there any ongoing or recent disputes?
  • Is the scheme adequately insured?
  • Are the minutes of recent committee meetings available for inspection?

Armed with all of this essential data you will be in a strong position to know whether buying into the strata scheme makes sense. You will have an accurate representation of all the costs involved, and you will know if those costs are liable to change in the near future. Speaking to someone who provides pre-purchase strata reports is the best way to get the information you need to make an informed decision.

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