Ask about strata ti­tle con­di­tions

Pilbara News - - Pilbara | Property - Hay­den Groves Hay­den Groves is the pres­i­dent of the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of WA.

Apart­ment liv­ing in Perth is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar, and as a re­sult we are see­ing the com­po­si­tion of Perth’s prop­erty land­scape slowly tran­si­tion to in­clude more multi-dwelling liv­ing op­tions in the CBD and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

One of the big­gest dif­fer­ences associated with liv­ing in apart­ments, town­houses and vil­las is that they are most com­monly part of a strata-ti­tled com­plex. Com­pared with buy­ing a stand­alone house on the more tra­di­tional green-ti­tled lots, prop­er­ties that are part of a strata ti­tle re­quire ad­di­tional con­sid­er­a­tions from buy­ers.

The first con­sid­er­a­tion is to find out how well the build­ing is man­aged. When you buy into a strata com­plex, you own your dwelling but any­thing that’s deemed com­mon prop­erty is owned by the strata com­pany, which has an obli­ga­tion to re­pair and main­tain it.

To fund this main­te­nance, each owner is re­quired to pay a levy which is used for bud­geted ex­pen­di­ture over the com­ing year.

There may also be a levy for a “sink­ing fund” set aside for any long-term ex­pen­di­ture.

If this is the case, in­quire about the cur­rent bal­ance.

Be­fore buy­ing, find out what levies you are re­quired to pay.

Fea­tures such as a swim­ming pool or lifts can in­crease levy amounts as they gen­er­ally need more main­te­nance.

The real es­tate agent sell­ing the prop­erty can ex­plain the de­tails of the strata and ob­tain a copy of the lat­est strata com­pany bud­get, as well as a state­ment of what’s al­ready been spent.

They should be able to pro­vide the min­utes of the last an­nual gen­eral meet­ing for the strata build­ing.

Ask for a copy of the build­ing’s strata plan, which pro­vides an ex­pla­na­tion of where the bound­aries lie. In many cases, you are pur­chas­ing only the in­ter­nal spa­ces of your apart­ment, with every­thing ex­ter­nal to this con­sid­ered com­mon prop­erty.

You should also de­ter­mine if the strata lot has any ar­eas of exclusive use, such as a bal­cony or court­yard.

Exclusive use ar­eas re­main as com­mon prop­erty, but you have exclusive use of that space and re­spon­si­bil­ity to main­tain it.

Fi­nally, there are a set of by-laws, stan­dard to ev­ery strata com­pany, which are some­times sup­ple­mented by ad­di­tional by-laws. Th­ese by-laws might be adopted by the strata com­pany af­ter ap­proval by the prop­erty own­ers, and can in­clude things such as re­stric­tions on pets be­ing kept by own­ers.

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