Are you interested in buying an apartment, be it old or new? Many of the properties for sale are apartments but there are a number of things you should check before you agree to buy.
- Maintenance – How big are the apartment common areas and who maintains them? The bigger the common areas, the more expensive it will be to maintain them. You should check that the entire buildings, the grounds, the waste collection area, the entrance and footpaths are all well maintained.
- Lighting – You should visit the apartment complex at night time to ensure that there is adequate lighting in the apartment common areas both inside and outside.
- Parking – Confirm the parking space for your apartment. Disputes often arise over people parking in the wrong car space. Enquire whether or not clamping is enforced in the complex. In some apartment complexes, the registered owners of the apartments receive a permit to park and you should make enquiries about this.
- Survey – It is vital that you get a surveyor to carry out a report on the structure of the apartment complex, the state of repair and about how often maintenance will be needed.
- Annual Returns Enquire from the apartment management company when an Annual General Meeting was last held and whether the annual returns and accounts have been filed in the Company Registration Office. If this has not been done, there may be huge difficulties when selling the apartment.
- Try to see the last accounts so that you can check whether all the owners of the apartments are paying their management charges. You should also find out whether the management company has a sinking fund to provide for unexpected significant repair costs.
- Common Areas – You should find out if the apartment commons areas have been handed over to the apartment management company by the developer.
- Safety – Are the fire exits kept free and clearly marked? Are all lifts and electric gates working? Can emergency vehicles have easy access? These are important questions you need to ask.
- Plumbing – Water leaks can be a major problem in apartment blocks especially when there is a tower of apartments. Make sure you check that the plumbing is satisfactory.
- You should try and find out whether all the apartments are occupied and whether they are rented or owner occupied.
- Find out the names of apartment owners who are actively involved in the management company and speak to them. They will let you know whether the management company and the apartment complex are well run.
Your Solicitor when acting for you in relation to the purchase of a new or old apartment will make further enquiries on your behalf from the Vendor’s Solicitor in relation to the Management Company and the apartment common areas. However, you should satisfy yourself in relation to the above issues first.