I am thinking of buying into a unit block. How do I find out about their strata, if they are having problems, or if the scheme has any planned future works that I will have to contribute to? – JC, NSW

Prior to buying into a strata scheme you should engage a professional strata inspector to conduct a strata search (your solicitor or conveyancer should be able to recommend someone or engage someone on your behalf).

A strata inspector will attend the office of the strata manager managing the building you are interested in and examine all the relevant documents relating to the lot and the building. The inspector will then collate a report, outlining important information. Whilst the strata inspector will have a standard check list on the information they provide clients, if there is a specific item you would like checked that isn’t on the strata inspectors list you will need to specify this.

As a guide, a strata search report should confirm the building levies, insurances, valuations, provide insight to the running of the scheme and confirm whether there is harmony within the building or not.