Should I get a strata inspection report?

Is it worth spending the time and money to get a strata inspection report before you make an offer on a property? We explain why a small investment in a strata inspection report could give you a lot of peace of mind. 

What is strata and a strata inspection report?

Strata schemes are those that allow you to become the shared owner of a property. When you purchase a unit, apartment or townhouse, you become the part-owner of common areas in your building complex. These common areas include the garden, driveway, pool and hallways. Being the part owner of these common areas also makes you part responsible for maintaining them and dealing with any problems that may come up. These common areas and the obligations you have for being part owner are managed through a legal entity known as the owners’ corporation.

A strata inspection report is a full overview of the owners’ corporation records of the strata complex. Before you commit to purchasing a unit, apartment or townhouse, it’s nice to know the kind of people and potential issues, such as upcoming repair or maintenance work, that you’ll be dealing with. 

What will a strata inspection report tell me?

The report will cover all aspects involved in running and maintaining the entire complex and the common areas included. It will outline the current property ownership and voting rights, any structural or building defects, planned or previous major works, the levies you will be required to pay into the administration and sinking funds, the strata insurance scheme, pet policies and compliance documentation. 

Pay particular attention to the financial records within the report to ensure the owners’ corporation is raising enough money to run the building and cover the ongoing maintenance costs. Check for any ongoing disputes between the residents and the owners’ corporation, that the owners’ corporation is compliant with their legal obligations, and whether or not you trust the strata manager with the necessary paperwork. 

When should I get a strata inspection report?

You only need a strata inspection report if you’re purchasing a strata-titled property such as an apartment or unit within a complex. Strata inspections can be completed before you put in an offer, although they take time and you may miss out on your purchase. They can also be completed during the cooling-off period, much like building inspections are when purchasing a standalone house. 

Buying a property can be stressful, but having a strata report can help put your mind at ease. It’s always better to spend a small amount of money to make sure you’re making the right decision before you spend a lot of money on purchasing a property.