Off the Beaten Plan
With this in mind, some of the things to look for when involved with off-the-plan strata developments, be you a purchaser, a vendor, an agent or a financier include:
- Don’t be seduced by glitzy artists impressions or models of the finished building – check details such as building materials, bathroom and kitchen fittings, cupboards, floor finishes, size of elevators, balconies, parking, gardens, communal space – keep all marketing material and take pictures of display homes and models.
- If you are marketing an off-the-plan strata development, ensure that your marketing collateral accurately reflects the intended final product. It should be expected that the Australian Consumer Law is to apply to any representations.
- If you are financing a prospective purchaser in relation to a strata unit – ensure that you let your client know early if your institution is able to provide such finance. We have had clients refused finance due to the size of the unit being below minimum acceptable size for the institution or for being unable to provide finance due to the institution having hit a certain level of finance within a development.
- Check the developer has a good record of delivering what is promised in the plan. Inspect other projects that they have done.
- Consider whether the apartment’s view or sunlight can be blocked by a future building (look at easements for light and restrictive covenants).
- Check the Sunset Date. How quickly does the development have to be completed and what discretion does the developer have to increase the Sunset Date.
- How much are the proposed strata levies?
- Check the by-laws – is Fido allowed to live there?
- Keep up to date on the proposed changes to strata legislation. It is changing.
- Check that you are entitled to off street parking or indeed an on street parking permit.