3 tips to ensure your strata-plan home will work for you

3 tips to ensure your strata-plan home will work for you

Apartment living might be perfect for you. You may be able to find something modern, exactly where you want to live, or perhaps you just want the ability to ignore the neighbours by simply shutting the door.

Whatever your reasons, it’s essential that you know exactly what you’re getting into. You’ll almost certainly be part of a ‘strata scheme’, which means you own your apartment, and collectively own and manage the common areas of the building with other residents. This might come with extra costs, however, so it’s essential that you’re aware of them so that you can leave a little room in your home finances to account for them.

Know what you’re paying for

Being a part of a strata apartment or unit block will usually mean that you have to pay strata levies. This fee is usually paid to your strata manager quarterly and covers the following:

  • Council charge such as rates and building consents.
  • Insurance.
  • Cleaning and general maintenance.
  • Utilities used in common spaces, such as power, water or internet.

It also may include one-off contributions, or payment to a sinking fund to pay for expenses as the building ages. These could include things such as plumbing, gardening, tiling, or structural maintenance.

Get a strata inspection report

A strata inspection report will give you a clear and accurate picture of the building.

A strata inspection report will give you a clear and accurate picture of the building, its management and its past. This can be a vital tool in helping make informed decisions about whether or not you want to be a part of the strata.

These usually include: the amount of the quarterly levies, if the strata scheme abides by all laws, rules and regulations and if the strata has been involved in any legal matters in the last three years.

It may also include details of any defects with the building, expenditures of the strata scheme and details of any major disputes it has been involved with. The more you know, the less likely you will incur extra costs or get into a disagreement with your strata manager.

Can you bring your furry friend?

If you want to bring your furry friend with you to your new apartment you’ll have to make sure it’s allowed by your strata’s rules first. The Australian Law Society states that stratas generally have one of the following two rules around this:

  1.  No pets or animals are allowed in apartments.
  2. You must obtain written permission from your strata manager to have a pet in your unit and keep the animal contained within.

With the right advice and a little prior research, living in a strata building can be a cost effective and hassle-free way of life. If you’ve done your research and you’re ready to buy, get in touch with us for help making apartment life your reality.