Forensic research to avoid a high-rise lemon

We loved this piece by Jimmy Thompson at Jimmy is a first rate commentator on some of the murkier aspects of strata living and never holds back with his commentary.

Key points:

  • Do your research before buying into a residential strata plan (strata inspection reports by trusted inspectors can assist – these are expensive but not compared to buying a lemon)
  • Consumer law is heavily weighted against apartment buyers – there are no home building warranties for blocks over three storeys high. Protections vary from state to state but the standard is that you can claim against non-major defects for two years and major defects for six
  • For newer properties, check whether the developer has gone out of business in which case there is going to be a battle related to any defects
  • For apartments six to 21 years old you need to check the minutes of recent owners corp committee meetings to see if there are any outstanding defect issues or active legal action. In many states there was a period of self-certification for apartment block building work, allowing developers to hire their own certifiers. Many of the worst defect prone apartments were built during this period. Strata inspection reports can assist with this
  • For older properties, check whether there is a sinking fund available to cover future maintenance and a maintenance plan to describe how it will be spent
  • Very low strata levies may also be a sign that there is an under investment in maintaining common property, often driven by committees dominated by non-resident owners

Read the full article on the flat-chat website


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