Pre-purchase (for existing properties only)
Find a property of interest after identifying your needs and wants – look at as many as possible and attend auctions.
· Have a search of the books and records performed by a strata searcher or perform the search yourself. A report from a specialist strata searcher will cost anywhere from around $250 and will contain information such as the financial status of the strata management scheme, pending building works, special levies, past works history, all expenses for the past two years, 10-year budget analysis, general information on insurances, by-laws (especially exclusive use by-laws and any by-laws specific to the lot in question), any disputes and any other areas under investigation.
This is the information kept by Whelan Property Group on behalf of their strata property schemes and should it not be there, questions may need to be asked about the quality of the management.
· Order a Section 109 certificate. The information included in Section 109 certificate is as per the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996:http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ssma1996242/s109.html
Section 109 certificates are provided by the Owners Corporation or their Strata Managing Agent. The current statutory fee for the certificate is $114.40 (GST Inclusive). Whelan Property Group can provide the certificates within 24 hours if requested.
· Have a building report/pest inspection performed. There are many providers of such reports and a building report should always be provided by a qualified person and contain indemnification.
· Review the Strata management Plan of the scheme, specifically the lot boundaries – what are you buying? Be sure to look for notations on the strata plan.
· Have the unit valued (this will likely be a requirement of the mortgagee). The valuation must be performed by a registered valuer.
· Once the above has occurred and you wish to proceed with an offer for the apartment, ensure you use the services of a conveyancer/solicitor that is familiar with strata.
· Introduce yourself to the strata manager, Executive Committee and other members of the Owners Corporation. Whelan Property Group love to hear from our new owners and are happy to help with any questions you have about your scheme or share our knowledge of strata (and everything else we have picked up along the way!).
· Attend meetings where possible (read the minutes if unable to attend). The meeting minutes should be concise and completely reflect the outcomes of the meeting – the staff at Whelan Property Group are known for our effective minting of meetings.
· Encourage refurbishment of strata property projects as the value from such will likely come back several folds. Whelan Property Group have successfully assisted with and advised hundreds of Owners Corporations through building projects, large and small, from thousands to millions of dollars.
· Familiarise yourself with the Strata management Schemes Management Act 1996 – know your rights and obligations.
Ensure any works you wish to undertake have been properly approved – Whelan Property the strata management company can advise you on the steps you need to take to ensure your compliance with the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 and an Owners Corporation’s specific requirements.