Brighter Buying

How to avoid a strata levy nightmare

by Kate Watt, Marketing Manager 9 May 2024

Unsuspecting buyers are warning others to purchase strata properties with their eyes wide open after copping bills for “special levies” into the tens of thousands of dollars.

While apartment and unit owners will typically pay levies into a sinking fund to cover building maintenance, they can be asked to pay extra levies if repair costs outweigh the sinking fund balance.

Some buyers in recent media reports, have claimed they didn’t know about big repair jobs already on the cards at the time they bought their properties.

This has resulted in them receiving bills of up to $100,000 in repair costs.

So how do you protect yourself?

The first step is to check the sinking fund includes enough money to finance any known or likely repair costs. While older buildings will typically have greater repair costs, some new buildings can have defects that need repair.

Checking historical body corporate minutes can also be an important step to identify known defects or problems. You can also ask if any special levies are presently payable or likely to be required.

A good conveyancing solicitor can help with searches and advice to help make sure you don’t get any surprise bills once you’ve signed your contract.

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