Renovating an apartment – ask permission!
There is something amazing about seeing an old neglected building brought back to life, given an injection of twenty-first century designer furniture and accessories, open plan living, and sold off to the highest bidder.
Well that’s my take on Channel 9?s ‘The Block’ and the recent series didn’t disappoint.
What was appealing to us in ‘strata land’ was the fact that the old South Melbourne hotel, situated at 142 Park Street, 3205, was eventually converted into six strata title apartments. Now the fun begins for the new owners, who should consider doing some research into strata living to find out what it’s all about, my last few articles are a good place to start.
Before you buy your own ‘block’
For those of you who are inspired to swing a sledgehammer and convert your own apartment, or maybe block of apartments, or maybe you’ve just bought an apartment with a view to renovating – there are some important things you really need to know first.
You’ll need to ask permission
Renovating an apartment requires that you seek certain permissions, in the same way you would if renovating a house. However, the difference is that you need to seek more permissions than if you were renovating a house.This is because even minor changes to internal walls and other fixtures can have structural and other implications for the whole building.
Beware of fines
If you fail to seek the appropriate permissions you can face fines and be presented the task of restoring the property to its original condition.This neatly brings me to the issue of renovating an older style apartment. If it is heritage listed then you may either want to run screaming now or take a deep breath and start dealing with your local heritage office.
Before you begin
So before you begin knocking the living room through to the kitchen what should you do?
Here are our tips for cutting through the red tape:
* Get advice from appropriately qualified people, before any action is undertaken or approvals granted
* Get approval for all renovations from the owners corporation at a general meeting or at the very least from the executive committee
* Check with your local council to find out what approvals you also need from it
* Let the neighbours know that there will be noise, trades people and probably inconvenience at some stage (like when the electricity is accidentally cut or you get a water leak)
By Mark Lever
Houspect Buy, Build and Invest with Confidence
08 9240 8855