Buying into a Strata Scheme in NSW

There are lots of questions to ask when buying into a strata scheme in NSW. Fortunately most of your queries are covered by the Certificate under Section 109 NSW.docx search form so get this completed. What should I do before signing a contract? You should get professional advice about the complexities involved in buying property. If you are interested in buying a strata unit, it is essential you look at the records of the owners corporation and know as much as you can about the maintenance of the building. Particularly, you should consider how much it may cost and whether there are signs that money may need to be spent soon. Sometimes your solicitor will arrange this for you, but not always. There are companies which specialise in inspecting the books and they know what to look for. You can inspect the records yourself (upon payment of the necessary fees) and the owners corporation must make these records available:

  1. the strata roll (shows: who owns each unit, mortgagees and others who have an interest in lots, general information about the strata scheme, the name of the managing agent, insurance details, the by-laws and the unit entitlements for the scheme and each lot)
  2. general records, such as notices served about disputes or required by legislation, orders, minutes of meetings, accounting records, financial statements, correspondence received and sent, notices of meetings, details of proxies, voting papers
  3. plans, specifications, certificates, diagrams and other documents if supplied by the original builder at the first annual general meeting
  4. the certificate of title for the common property
  5. the last financial statements
  6. current insurance policies and the receipt for the last premium paid other records held by the owners corporation, and records or books of account kept by a strata managing agent.
How do I get a Section 109 Certificate? If you are an owner, or you have an owner's, mortgagee's or covenant chargee's written permission, you may write to the owners' corporation and ask for a Certificate under Section 109 NSW.docx. The Treasurer of the owners' corporation must give the certificate under owners corporation seal. The certificate must be on the set form used in the Strata Scheme Management Regulation 2010 - Schedule 8. There is a fee payable. A Section 109 Certificate will give information about the strata scheme including:
  1. the names and addresses of the executive committee members, the managing agent and caretaker (if applicable)
  2. the levies to be paid by the owners
  3. any outstanding levies
  4. the address where the records and financial statements can be viewed, and any special by-laws made by the owners corporation in the past two years.
If a levy is outstanding before the certificate is given and it is not shown on the certificate, the purchaser is not responsible for the payment. Ref: Fair Trading

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