Purchasing a Unit – Strata Title

Strata Title – the Seller must ‘bare all’

This information has been provided by Australian law firm, Australian Conveyancing Services and is applicable in Queensland only.

When you own or want to buy a Unit or Townhouse, you need to consider the special legal nature of that type of property, that doesn’t apply to an ordinary house & land situation.

This is because a ‘strata titled’ complex consists of not just one dwelling, but many (from the normal ‘6 pack complex’ to a unit complex of 100s of units). Whether you buy into a small complex or a large one, there are certain principles that generally apply, as follows:

  • You own your unit and the airspace encompassing that unit. You have an ownership share, along with all other unit holders, in the common property surrounding the unit (such as a pool, grounds, common stairwells, etc)
  • There are rules which govern your use of the common property, called Body Corporate rules
  • A body corporate (comprised of a committee of owners) is responsible for the maintenance and other matters relating to the complex
  • Body Corporate levies are struck for each unit, and the amount depends on your lot entitlement. There are normally two levies that are payable on a periodic basis: The administrative levy (for general maintenance, such as maintaining lawns, etc) and a sinking fund (for major expenditures, such as painting and large repairs).

Before selling a Unit/Townhouse, make sure that any resolved disputes or settled problems within the Body Corporate are recorded in writing on their roll. If they aren’t it can cause problems later when the Buyer searches the records and thinks that there are ongoing problems.

Disclosure by the Seller

You will be asked by the Agent to complete a disclosure statement, which sets out the body corporate fees payable, insurance details for the complex, provides details on the Body Corporate Secretary/Manager and discloses various matters that the law feels that the Buyer should be made aware of. You can get this information from your Body Corporate Secretary, but you may have to pay a fee.

The disclosure statement must be provided to the Buyer before they sign a Contract.

The REIQ Contract for Units and Townhouses also require further disclosure on key areas relating to the complex and the body Corporate.

Article source: Quick Conveyancing www.quickconveyancing.com.au



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