Anyone who is buying a property wants a degree of assurance that they know everything they need to know about it before money changes hands. Today, that comes in the form of an independent inspection conducted by a qualified and licensed inspector. The type of inspection needed differs depending on the type of property in question. While a Building and Pest Inspection Report is what you need when buying a house, it’s Strata Inspection Reports you need when buying an apartment.
Strata Inspections are different from Building Inspections in a number of key areas, and it’s important to understand these differences so you can interpret the reports and make informed decisions about your property investment.
In this article, we’re breaking down the key differences between strata inspection reports and building inspection reports.
Strata Report vs. Building Inspection
Apartment buildings and other multi-level residential properties are generally jointly owned on ‘Strata title’, the word ‘strata’ referring to dwellings on multiple levels. This sets them apart from traditional houses where there is only one title and one owner, and requires a different set of criteria to create a comprehensive inspection report.
Under Strata title, all owners on the title are responsible for the management and maintenance of common facilities and areas like the lobby, corridors or pool, as well as the financial and administrative aspects of the property. These duties are usually managed through a community association or body corporate group in which all owners are required to participate.
This is why Strata Inspection Reports include information about the body corporate and its maintenance and meeting records: the proper maintenance of the apartment depends on the effective running of the body corporate.
What are Strata Inspection Reports?
The methods and criteria of inspection for an apartment in a multi-level building are different to those in a traditional Building and Pest Inspection. Inspectors will need to examine the relevant strata agreement and assess the more intangible aspects of the complex that the apartment is in.
Strata Inspections will include assessment of:
- The interior and exterior of the unit,
- Body corporate meeting minutes,
- The Strata agreement, including whether it complies with fire and asbestos rules ,
- Voting rights and entitlements for owners,
- Quarterly strata fees,
- Building insurance,
- Whether or not the building is harmonious,
Among various other items depending on specific legal, structural and administrative characteristics of the building in question.
Stata inspections are crucial because the value of apartments and dwellings in multi-level buildings is deeply affected by these intangible aspects. Strata Inspection Reports can warn you against investing in an apartment that comes with exorbitant levies, stringent body corporate regulations or a patchy maintenance history and expensive, long-delayed repairs.
If you’re buying an apartment, use this guide to help you understand Strata Inspection Reports and make the best possible decisions when it comes to property investment.