Recently, there has been a high demand for apartments, with investor and home buyers competing for the available spaces. In this fast growing market, it is important to be careful and stay informed when making a purchase. However, there has been a trend of people skipping property inspections when buying apartments and not when purchasing houses. The investors rely on the assurance that owners have taken care of the units prior to selling. According to an ABS report on July 2013, people who were accorded approval for owner-occupied financing for housing rose by 1.6 percent compared to a constant statistic for those who requested for funds for investment property.

CEO PICA Group’s Greg Haywood states that most apartment buyers including investors and owner-occupiers are first time buyers. Most are not aware of what they should do before buying the apartments. They do not understand the importance of property inspections in most cases. Mr. Haywood says “Just as you would inspect a house and get various pest and engineering reports, you should also undertake inspections in an apartment,” The CEO affirms that most buyers are not informed that it is essential to undertake an inspection before committing to a purchase. Most make assumptions that as long as there have been people occupying the apartments, problems are minimal. However, it is important to conduct a strata inspection before scribbling your signature on the contracts. This is because it would not help much if you undertake the inspection later-the contract will limit you from getting a fair treatment.

Usually, most conveyances and solicitors will demand that you conduct a strata inspection report as an integral part of the whole process. According to Greg Haywood, the strata inspection report includes checking:

  • The records and the books of the corporation of the owner thoroughly, in order to get a clear picture of the condition of the property.
  • Any notices, which could have been addressed to the corporation. This may be tribunal or court orders.
  • All minutes reported during executive and general meetings.
  • Accounting books such as expenditure and income records
  • Duly registered copy of the plan of the strata and the title
  • The approved levy installments and budget
  • Updated insurance packages
  • The records of the managing agent.
  • Any available supplier agreements

Haywood urges apartment buyers to obtain the permission to inspect the owner or agent records before starting out. He points out that purchasing an apartment in a strata scheme gives one more than the space bought-it comes with the control of garages, lobbies, fences, gardens and other extras including gyms and pools. From the records, you get to know how particular areas are being maintained and if there are any problems that could warrant a levy or an extra charge. For instance, where you are buying an apartment for $350,000, you would not like it if you had to pay an extra $20000.

In as much as there is the need for property inspection, Haywood advises that you depend on the documented information. In addition to that, get to know the other side of the story from the owners. Finally, base your decision to either buy or not from the strata and building inspection reports.