Many people mistakenly believe that Pre-Purchase Building Inspections of units are of little value especially when they are new.
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Why Pre-Purchase Building Inspections are essential when buying a unit
Understandably, an inspection of a unit can be completed in a significantly shorter time than a house; however, it's still critical to know exactly what you're buying and more importantly, that there are no hidden expensive surprises. ABIS inspections of high rise units when combined with a Body Corporate Search Report from a specialist body corporate records search company. These reports in combination will identify those issues that can represent significant future costs. As a unit owner, you'll also be jointly responsible for the common property as well as being individually responsible for the interior of your unit.
A Common Misunderstanding - Your Two Responsibilities
When you purchase a high rise strata title unit, you take on two areas of responsibility:
- The interior of your unit (which you typically take sole responsibility) and,
- Joint responsibility for the common property (together with the other owners of the complex).
The common property does not only include the Common Areas and grounds but also the exterior walls and windows. The entity that looks after the common property is referred to as the Body Corporate and usually consists of a committee elected by the owners to represent their interests in relation to the care and maintenance of the building. Most importantly, the Body Corporate is you and your fellow owners, not any isolated external or government body.
The Body Corporate Committee usually employs a Body Corporate Management Company to assist them in fulfilling their duties. Larger buildings often have an onsite manager or entity that has acquired the Management Rights to the building. Typically, this person or entity acquiring the Management Rights will have bought a right from the developer of the building in exchange for a contracted right to undertake various functions for the Body Corporate. It will be for a contracted annual sum for the duration of the right.
We strongly encourage you to discuss these matters with your solicitor to ensure that you understand your rights and most importantly, your obligations in relation to Strata-Title Unit ownership. It is a smart investment to have both ABIS Building Inspection and a Body Corporate or Strata Search.
ABIS comprehensive Building Inspection Report covers the unit's interior and immediate exterior(where readily accessible). This should be read in conjunction with a report from a search of body corporate records (usually organised through your solicitor) to uncover any potential liabilities identified to date by the Body Corporate.