• Understanding Strata Schemes – The Importance of Strata Search Reports and Strata Maintenance Reports.

    27 Jun, 2016 | 122 views

    Buying an apartment or townhouse allows you all the freedom and excitement of owning your own home, but understanding the strata scheme which accompanies such a purchase can be confusing. Understanding the intricacies of a strata scheme before making a purchase is of vital importance, because you will be purchasing a spot within the owners’ corporation along with the purchase of your new home.

    Strata Schemes: What You Own and What You Control
    When you purchase a property with an attendant strata scheme, it’s not always easy to know what you own versus what is owned by the collective owners’ corporation. Typically, you will own the space within your particular unit and all of its contents, including the fixtures and internal walls. The roof, exterior walls, common hallways and foyers, garden spaces and everything else outside the property is owned by the owners’ corporation.

    Your rights as an owner and what you’re able to control under a strata scheme are known as “lot entitlements,” and will be outlined in the original strata plan for the building. In some states, your lot entitlements may be determined through a market value-based formula. However your rights and level of control are determined, they will be explained thoroughly in strata scheme documents. Each state and territory will have their own laws and strata regulations, though most are similar in concept across Australia, with variances in terminology and wording.

    Strata Search Reports
    This collection of documents will include information on levies and details of the sinking fund. These documents may also include the minutes of any owners’ corporation minutes which indicate a potential for future costs. Though it shares a similar name to strata maintenance reports, these documents are quite different. A strata maintenance report focuses on the needs of the building as a whole, with an emphasis on communally owned areas.

    What is a Strata Maintenance Report?
    Often, a professional strata manager will be appointed to oversee the care and upkeep of areas owned by an owners’ corporation. For more detailed information about the necessity of upcoming work or repairs, they may rely upon a strata maintenance report. These reports disclose any areas where repair may be necessary, identify the root cause of problems within the building, prioritize needed repairs in order of urgency and may even build a maintenance budget for the building. Whether you’re a hired strata manager or lead the owners’ corporation in your own building, a strata work report can be a valuable tool for the allocation of funds and budget drafting for strata meetings. Aligning the interests of every owners’ corporation and committee member can be an almost insurmountable challenge, which is why an objective report from a neutral third party can be so helpful. With a strata maintenance report, determining the structural and repair needs of commonly owned area and prioritizing them appropriately can be much easier and less stressful.

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