Who’s responsible for building inspections?

Carrying out a regular building inspection on a strata property is the best way to maintain the fabric of the building. Regularly attending to the upkeep of this major asset ensures the value of the building is protected for its owners and it ensures the owners corporation fulfils its statutory obligations to keep the property in a reasonable state of repair. The priority for many strata-title property owners is understandably their own domain and the four walls of their own apartment, with few noting the exterior or the common areas until something goes wrong or starts to look unsightly. However protecting the investment made in a strata property doesn't stop at the owner's front door, it starts at the property boundary. This is where a building inspection is a valuable tool, which when performed regularly can identify any areas that could result in costly problems down the track. Ideally an inspection should be carried out at least every three years, and the inspection and reporting should always be undertaken by a specialist professional. Seek out a specialist in strata and make sure they have a certified Quality Assurance system in place. That way you'll get a professional who really knows what they are doing. A building inspector will look to ensure that the building fabric is adequately protected. This means checking that the exterior paint, protective coatings and sealants are in good condition, he or she will then be guided by what they discover. Common issues The external elements are often the things that the inspectors may look at first. For example if the property is near a beach, the inspector will look to see what corrosion may have occurred from the effects of the salt and sand. They'll also look at the age of building and the type of materials used in its construction. The most common issues inspectors find are cracking brickwork, displacement of gutters and timberwork andcorrosion on elements such as window and doorframes, as well as concrete balustrades. The item that needs the most regular maintenance is often the paint and protective coatings. The harsh Australian sun is a paint manufacturers dream, and it's not just marketing hype from the painting industry, those claims on the damage our climate can wreak are real. Once all the issues have been identified and documented by a building inspector then the undertaking of any required remedial work can be properly costed. The bottom line in all this is the willingness of the owners corporation to proactively look after its asset. Regular maintenance ensures the value of the asset is protected, and while they may be concerned about special levies and sinking funds, the return on investment in maintenance much better than not doing the work at all. Ref: Strata Community Aust

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