Building inspections for apartments

Building Inspections For Strata Apartments

Building inspections for strata apartments. At Master Building Inspectors, our aim is to ensure that the client is aware of all significant defects related to the apartment or unit that they are purchasing.

WHEN DO YOU NEED A PRE-PURCHASE BUILDING INSPECTION REPORT?

When looking at purchasing an apartment, a pre-purchase building report is essential. Our reports will provide you with the necessary information to make an informed decision.

This allows clients to budget for any repairs and/or renovations that may be required, along with a list of defects, classified as either safety hazards, major and minor defects.

WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF INSPECTION FOR STRATA APARTMENTS?

With strata titled properties, the inspection is limited to the interior and the immediate exterior of the particular residence to be inspected, as that is the extent of the individual property, and does not include a review of body corporate or similar records.

Sometimes, pre-purchase inspections are not requested because of an assumption that an examination of the strata records alone will adequately inform the purchaser of potential defects.

Please note that body corporate records will only disclose those defects that have been brought formally to the attention of the body corporate. The records will not necessarily reveal all the defects.

INSPECTION OF COMMON AREAS

The purchaser should be aware that their liability for the cost of repairing building defects is not restricted to the particular unit which they are proposing to purchase, but may include contribution to the whole of the common property.

WHAT AREAS ARE INSPECTED DURING A PRE-PURCHASE BUILDING INSPECTION?

The following items are typically checked during a pre-purchase strata building inspection, subject to reasonable access:
• Internal walls – cracking, excessive moisture/damp, distortion.
• Timber flooring – dampness, water staining, damage, decay, out of level.
• Concrete flooring – cracking, damage, dampness.
• Ceilings – nail popping, cracking, cornice cracking, water staining, damage.
• Roof cavity (as applicable) – roof frame, roof covering, insulation, party wall.
• Roof exterior (as applicable) – guttering, downpipes, valleys, eaves, fascia’s & barges.
• Doors – damage, binding, jamming, defective operation, damaged hardware.
• Kitchen – sink drainage, taps, cupboard doors, splashback tiles.
• Bathroom – sink/tap operation, shower recess, damaged sealant/missing grout, bath, tile condition.
• Laundry – tap/drainage, tiles.

Please note, items inspected and reported on will be dependent upon whether a structural building inspection or standard pre-purchase building report was requested.

STRATA INSPECTION REPORTS

A strata inspection report differs from a building inspection report. The strata report primarily details the whole building, known also as the Strata Scheme. Due diligence is key when buying into a strata scheme. It is estimated that defects are found in 80% of all new buildings.

It is recommended that all purchasers of company titled, community or strata titled commercial or residential property in Perth invest in a strata report. This search can help avoid any unpleasant surprises and provide information on whether the scheme is well run.

Details that are occurring with the building should be noted, such as:

• Sinking & administration funds available
• Building defects
• Home owner warranty claims
• Details of the building insurance & cover
• Any known disputes within the strata scheme
• Current or proposed levies
• Compliance with WH&S, fire & asbestos management requirements
• Current or past legal matters

It is also very important to read the by-laws. These by-laws will document the community rules such as, pet restrictions, lot restrictions, smoking and/or works restrictions.

Checking to ensure if authorised works have occurred to your new potential home is also recommended. Most purchasers are unaware that the water proof membrane in bathrooms is considered common property. If an unauthorised bathroom renovation have previously occurred and the membrane damaged, then future remedial works to adjoining properties could be at your expense.

You should ask, prior to engaging a firm what building background the inspector has. To ensure a comprehensive inspection of the Owners Corporation Records, the inspector must be fully trained, insured and qualified.

Many inspection companies subcontract out their work to unqualified contractors such as university students who have no building or property background experience.

When buying a property, whether newly built or existing, information is key to ensure you are entering into the purchase fully aware of all potential issues.

ABOUT YOUR MASTER BUILDING INSPECTOR

Unfortunately, the building inspections for strata apartments industry in Perth is unregulated. Therefore, it is paramount that the building inspector assessing your build is suitably experienced and qualified.

Many companies in Perth, state that their inspectors are registered. Sadly, this is a false statement, as there is currently no such qualification.

We recommend checking your inspectors credentials, as many so call “registered building inspectors” have no building experience or qualifications and come from accounting & management backgrounds.
• All inspectors are qualified, registered builders, holding registration with the WA Building Commission.
• Fully insured. Every building inspectors holds Public liability & Professional Indemnity insurances underwritten by Lloyds of London.
• All inspectors come from trade backgrounds. They have been involved with the construction of residential & commercial builds for years!
• Every one of our inspectors has undertaken extensive training in the inspection and reporting process.

Contact Master Building Inspectors today for all pre-purchase structural building inspection enquiries on 1300 852 496.

We are available to conduct building inspections Perth wide from Monday through to Saturday.