Why is it important to get a Pest/Building or Strata report?

Article Fiona Lei 04 November 2022

Purchasing a property can be a very stressful time.  Having worked hard to save for a deposit, spent time and effort finding a property that you like and then arranging your finance, the last thing you would want to do is to make a potential mistake!

Property reports can help to alleviate some of the questions or concerns you may have.  Whilst they are never 100% 'fool proof' they can be reassuring and identify potential issues that may arise in the future, allowing you to make a more informed decision regarding a purchase.  

Two of the most common property reports we recommend to prospective purchasers are:

1. Pest & Building Reports

Building and pest inspections can help safeguard property buyers against investing in fault-ridden properties, as the reports reveal any hidden or latent defects in a property. 

The other benefit of a property inspection is that if no major issues are identified, but several minor problems are noted, the report can become a powerful negotiating tool in regards to purchase price.  

2. Strata Reports

Before purchasing a strata title unit town house or villa, it is wise to arrange a strata inspection of the books and records of the owner's corporation by a suitably qualified strata inspector. There are many things that are not apparent from a visible inspection of the building and a strata report can highlight any ongoing issues with maintenance or problems with other units/town houses in the complex.
The strata inspection will generally answer the following questions:

  • Are there any important items that you should consider before purchasing the strata dwelling? 
  • Is there a defect claim pending against the original builder? 
  • Have any fire, Council demolition or repair orders been issued? 
  • Is the building or strata villa, townhouse or complex adequately insured? 
  • Are there any breaches of Strata Titles Act? 
  • Is there a recent building valuation to support amount of insurance? 
  • Does the strata scheme have an adequate sinking fund, taking into account the age of the building, the current state of repair, the type of construction? 
  • What are the quarterly levies within the strata complex? 
  • Are there any other "special levies" planned in the strata complex? 
  • Are there any outstanding building works or unpaid invoices etc that could result in a special levy in the future? 
  • Is the annual sinking fund allocation adequate for the strata complex? 
  • What are the current balances in the Administrative & Sinking Fund account? 
  • Are there any current or proposed litigation matters involving the owner's corporation? 
  • Are there any limitations or restrictions on the use of common property, which may affect you? 
  • Are there any outstanding public liability claims involving the owner's corporation? 
  • Are animals permitted in this strata unit, villa, townhouse or other? 
  • Have any alterations to the unit been approved by the owners corporation, ie installation of air conditioning unit?

For peace of mind when purchasing a property, speak to your experienced lawyer or licensed conveyancer at CDQ for advice on the property reports you may require and whether you need to address any issues raised as a result.