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Strata title living is becoming more and more popular and for many people it makes a lot of sense to buy a home unit rather than a house BUT there are some things to look out for when considering entering into this market.

Firstly, it is an important step to find out as much as you possibly can about the home unit complex that you are thinking of buying into.  Each strata scheme is different but there are several things that you would be well advised to find out about, for example:

  • is the building and the common areas clean, tidy and well maintained;
  • is the building properly and adequately insured;
  • what is the insurance ‘claims history’ for the building like;
  • is there a strata manager for the scheme;
  • what are the contributions to the administrative and sinking funds;
  • are adequate funds held for short term and long term maintenance and repairs;
  • have any special levies been struck and for what purpose;
  • what is the policy on keeping pets.

These and other issues will directly affect you if you buy a unit in the building.  A certificate by the owners corporation as to financial and other matters (also called a section 109 certificate) relating to the particular unit (or lot) that you are thinking of buying will provide much of this information.  This certificate may be obtained on payment of a fee to the managing agent or the owners’ corporation.  It is also a good idea to inspect the books and records of the Owners Corporation or have someone do that for you.

Lopich Lawyers can help you avoid the home unit blues by ensuring that the appropriate enquiries are made before you enter into a contract to buy a unit.

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