Do I need to have made an offer to purchase a property in order to obtain a strata report? Am I able to find out about strata issues without purchasing a strata report? – Stuart, NSW

Q: Do I need to have made an offer to purchase a property in order to obtain a strata report? Am I able to find out about strata issues without purchasing a strata report?

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A:¬†Given that owners corporation records are private, you will not be able to obtain a strata report if you are only thinking of buying a unit. You must be an “interested party”, which assumes that you enter a contract.

The good news is, however, that you may be able to work into your contract a clause/condition that allows you to make/cancel your offer based off a pre-purchase strata report.

It is of utmost importance to order your pre-purchase strata report once you enter into the contract, as the cooling-off period may only last up to five days. This cooling-off period is the perfect time for you to look through the report and decide whether you’d like to buy or walk away, usually without any questions asked.

You may be able to include in your clause that you will require more days than what is originally allocated. If you are able to, it is recommended that you give yourself as much time as possible as some strata reports may take time to create and reach you. Luckily, there are companies that offer 24-hour turnaround times for strata reports, so make sure to do your research and check user reviews for various companies.

You may also use the strata report to negotiate a better deal if you find that there are issues such as building defects, or major repairs/renovation works coming up within the strata property.

Alternatively, you may be able to speak with other owners within the strata property, however, there may be only so much information you can obtain from this method, as well as the issue of the validity of what is shared. The best method would be to obtain the pre-purchase strata report for your own peace of mind.