To read, not to read is out of the question
Strata documents can be very boring and difficult to read. We know as a lot of our readers end up contact us because they find it difficult to understand. Some even made the mistake of not even reading them when the bought their apartment.
As you are reading this page we hope that you will also take the time to at the very least skim through these following documents. Even better would be to go through them in large detail as you will learn more about what makes your complex tick.
If you only want to read one document, this is the one. Just because it tells you exactly what is yours and what the law is within your complex. It describes topics like the financials of the strata, the buildup of the reservations, if there are any special assessments being assigned to the owners of the building or whether rentals are allowed in the building and/or details on any restrictions.
The strata plan is a legal document that is submitted by the builder of the complex/building before it starts construction. It is the blue print and describes the dimensions of each unit, common areas, and items like which parking lot is allocated to which unit. It is important to review this document so that you are aware of exactly what you are purchasing.
BYLAWS & RULES
The bylaws outline what is restricted in the building, and what all owners are required to comply with. Typical items that are addressed are related to pet ownership, quiet hours, the use of BBQ’s on balconies or smoking. It can also contain requirements to ask the permission of strata to alter and renovate your unit.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING MINUTES
The annual general meeting, also known as the AGM, is held once a year to update the residents on the strata’s activities of the past year as well as what it is planning for the coming year. It addresses the finances, insurance coverage and will inform the assembly if the monthly fees will cover the expenses. Any other topic that found its way to the AGM will be described in these minutes. This document help to get an overall idea of what the future of the building/complex will look like, along with how they’ve performed in the past.
Every strata corporation is required to obtain insurance for the building on the strata plan, common areas, and original fixtures. This does not cover your private area or any improvements you have made. To make sure you are not under insured you need the most recent copy of the insurance note to give your insurance provider insight in what and how you are already covered. Your provider can then advise you on your own insurance for your unit.
The strata minutes outline the strata meetings and provide insight into the recent history as well as issues that have come to order. By reading the minutes you will also be able to get a feel for how the council deals with issues and their effectiveness.
This document outlines your building’s financials over time. It provides insight in whether owners should expect special levies given that the contingency cannot fully fund the repairs needed. Think of your depreciation report as your long-term inspection report not only for the unit also for the building as a whole. It breaks down what can be expected for repair and maintenance over time as well as its impact on the contingency reserve fund.
SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING MINUTES
If there are Special General Meeting Minutes you should take your time to read them. They are only present if there was something out of the ordinary to deal with. They are “special” for a reason so you want to know exactly what is going on and if and how it is going to be resolved/was resolved.
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