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How To Read a Strata Plan
When you are buying a unit in a complex of several so you need to see what you’ll actually own and what will be common property.
So the best way to check that is to look at the strata plan which is always contained in the contract for sale. You could ask the selling agent for a copy.
On the first page you’ll see a location plan that shows the outline of the units in relation to its neighbours. For this property you’ll see that it fronts two streets and adjoins properties at the rear.
This shows the general outline of the units arcing around and always has a legend showing the areas.
On the following page you’ll see in more details the lots. If you are buying unit one it will most likely be lot 1 as well. If you are purchasing lot 1 you need to look at the plan to see if all the areas shown are what has been told to you that you’ll actually own.
Sometimes in marketing there may be mention of other areas like a car space or an area of yard that’s for your use. However, unless it’s shown on the strata plan or the by-laws for your exclusive use that may not actually be the case.
So if you are buying lot 1this plan shows a total area of 224 square metres. There’s a garden area out the front and a garage. So that’s what you’ll actually own if you are buying lot 1.
7 Steps To Buy A Strata Unit
Step 1. Assemble your team
Buying a unit is a legally binding transaction so you’ll need experts in your corner such as a mortgage broker to obtain home loan pre-approval and a conveyancer or solicitor to review the contract for sale. With your team assembled there’s less chance of delays when you start your search.
Step 2. Go hunting
While house hunting can be fun, the process can be frustrating if you keep missing out on the perfect property. Consider the experience of experts when deciding which areas to target and what sort of home to buy.
As part of our Client Due Diligence Rebate if you miss out on a property and need another Inspection Report you will receive a $50 rebate off your next Standard or Premium Inspection Report provided by us.
Step 3. Pre purchase inspections
Anyone buying a strata unit should gain insights into the strata scheme to which they might be joining. Our reports can provide you with the knowledge to negotiate or to provide reassurance and insights. With our insights you can avoid costly mistakes by making good decisions early.
If you require information on the physical condition of the unit you may also wish to obtain a Building Inspection Report from another provider.
Step 4. Negotiate and exchange
So you’ve found your unit and you’d like to be the successful purchaser. After you’ve negotiated the price and terms you’ll need to meet your conveyancer or solicitor to review and sign the contract.
Step 5. Pre settlement
Much of the pre settlement arrangements will be handled by your mortgage broker and conveyancer or solicitor.
You’ll need to keep in touch however and arrange items such as contents and landlord insurance on your unit and also building insurance if you are buying a community or neighbourhood lot.
Step 6. Settlement
This is the day your legal representative meets with the vendors representative and hands over the cheques. Once settlement has gone through it’s time to collect the keys and move in.
Step 7. After settlement
Contact your strata manager and make sure they have received notification of the sale. You don’t want to miss important correspondence such as levy notices and meeting agendas.
DOWNLOAD – To download this guide as a pdf click here.
Note: This information is not a substitute for legal advice and is of a general nature only. You should consider your individual circumstances.
Strata Tip – 2 tips for all new strata owners
In this video Craig provides 2 quick tips to help new strata owners ease their way into strata living.
00:16s Know your strata manager
01:07s Check your by-laws
01:40s How to get a by-law for your living alteration
Hi everybody and welcome back to our strata tips. Today I have 2 quick tips to help ease your way into strata living.
The first is tip get to know your strata manager
Most strata schemes employ a strata manager to organise repairs and maintenance for common property, compliance and meetings and so on. After settlement of your purchase your solicitor or conveyancer will send the strata manager a letter (called a Section 109 certificate) advising that your now the owner.
This notification may take just a week or so but can take longer. It’s important to note that that the strata manager won’t know you’re the owner until they receive this paperwork so there may be a period there were you aren’t receiving important correspondence or levy notices from them.
We suggest that after settlement new strata owners take the front foot and contact their strata manager to introduce themselves. Provide them with your contact details and they’ll then wait for the paperwork to confirm everything.
The second tip is know your properties rules
In the mountain of paperwork that comes with buying a unit you might recall seeing the by-laws. By-laws are simply a set of rules outlining the expect behaviour of residents and noting guidelines for the use and control of the common property.
You may wish to make common some living alterations such as installing an air conditioner, pergola, solar hot water system, skylight etc however the current by-laws allow this you’ll need to obtain permission first.
If you’re considering making changes like this you’ll find a suite of professionally prepared and immediately available by-laws at mybylaw.com.au
So there you have it, 2 quick tips to help ease your way into your strata living. Thanks for watching and see you next time.
Strata Tip – 3 strata websites you should know (recommendations)
In this video Craig provides an insight into 3 websites that we often use to research strata information for our clients.
00:23s Maps Six
00:46s Land & Property Information NSW
01:16s Strata Community Australia NSW
Hi there and welcome to Coastal Strata Inspections headquarters. My name’s Craig and I’m the founder and one of the strata inspectors here.
Today I thought I’d just quickly share with you 3 websites we use daily to find information for our clients and to stay up to date with industry news.
1. Maps Six
Maps Six is an online mapping tool for NSW developed by Land and Property Information. Think of it like Google Maps with lot numbers, boundary lines and neighbouring property details and you get the idea.
Simply search by address and you’ll get the details you need. It’s really useful to get an aerial view of the strata scheme with outlines of the lots overlaid.
2. Land & Property Information (LPI)
On occasion the strata records we inspect don’t have all of the documents in their files that we need to see. The two most important documents for every strata plan is the certificate of title to common property and the strata plan.
If these documents are missing from the files or we need to check changes of by-laws we head to the LPI shop and download what we need.
This site isn’t so much of a tip however it’s a resource every strata owner or strata professional should check in on.
Strata Community Australia is the industry body of the strata sector in NSW. On here you’ll find up to date news on strata laws, events general strata information and you can check them out here (point below).
So that’s just 3 of the strata websites to regularly use and thought I’d share with you. Please share this video around and you can get in touch with us at email@example.com Thanks for watching, see you next time.
Strata Tip – April 2016
In this video Craig provides a tip for how to confirm if that car space or storage area is actually part of the unit you are considering purchasing.
00:36s How to read a strata plan
00:55s Are there any special by-laws?
01:09s The 2 documents you’ll need and where to find them
Hi there and welcome to Coastal Strata Inspections headquarters. So my name’s Craig and I’m the founder and one of the strata inspectors here.
Today I have a tip for you on how to check what you’ll actually own in a strata unit. Sometimes a unit is marketed as having a car space or storeroom and you’d like to confirm that this is correct. Now in our strata reports this is just one of the 40+ points we check however if you are just conducting research before making an offer here’s a tip that will help you.
The strata plan is like a floor plan and shows the location of all of the parts of a unit such as courtyards, balconies, car spaces and storerooms. Check the lot number that you’re looking to buy and check out the plan to see if that car space is actually noted.
In addition to this strata plan you’ll also need to check out the by-laws. Occasionally you’ll find an exclusive use by-law where owners corporations grant a lot or all lots the exclusive use of a portion of common property for car spaces or other uses. So in short you need 2 documents that should be attached to the contract for sale of the unit and they are the strata plan and the bylaws.
We’ve reviewed thousands of strata records in our areas so odds are we’ll have these documents in our database. Feel free to get in touch on 02 4297 2555 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll happily take a look. Thanks so much for watching and see you next time.
Pet Application Form
If I buy this unit will I be able to keep a pet?
00:08s The 3 most common bylaws for pets
00:24s How to check the pets by-law for your particular unit
00:34s How to apply to an owners corporation for permission to keep a pet. Download our Pet Application form here
What is the Sinking Fund?
Have you heard of the sinking fund? In this video Craig explains what it’s all about.
00:09s How much should be in the sinking fund?
What happens to levies in arrears?
Did your strata report show levy arrears for the lot you are buying or another lot? In this video Craig explains just what happens to arrears and how it impacts on the owners corporation.
00:12s What happens when the vendor is in arrears.