Buying or Selling an Apartment

The process of buying an apartment is slightly different from the process of buying a house.

When buying an apartment, Sweeney Tiggemann’s conveyancing solicitors and support staff can guide you through the process. They will help you avoid any problems that may arise. Our FAQ page will also help you.

An apartment is a Lot in a larger complex. The complex usually comprises common property, such as external walls, windows, roof, driveways. Most commonly, this property will be a strata title apartment, or, less commonly, a company title apartment.

The key features of living in a strata title apartment are:

  • you own your unit or apartment as well as sharing ownership and responsibility for ‘common property’
  • if you own your unit, you are automatically a member of the ‘owners corporation’ which has responsibility for the common property
  • every 3 months you will have to contribute to the cost of running and maintaining the building by paying two different levies. These levies are for the administrative fund and for the sinking fund.
  • compared to living in a freestanding house, there may be lifestyle restrictions. For example by-laws may affect whether you can renovate your unit where you can and cannot park your car where you can dry your washing, and whether or not you can keep pets.

When thinking about conveyancing it is important that you are aware of the responsibilities and obligations of owning a strata title property. You should be confident that both your legal and conveyancing requirements are covered before proceeding with your apartment purchase.

We will help you understand the conveyancing obligations of owning a Lot in a Strata Plan. It is very important that you have a clear understanding of the Strata Plan layout where the common property boundaries are and what your obligations are in respect of Common Property; e.g. in respect of sliding doors leading to balconies, garage doors, balcony railings, and air space. Strata Plans may differ on whether these items are part of the common property or not.

As we are conveyancing solicitors, we will give the best representation for your apartment purchase and we will guide you in accordance with conveyancing law in NSW.

Sweeney Tiggemann can assist you with:

  • arranging building and pest inspections
  • examining your strata inspection report if the property is part of a strata scheme
  • arranging finance if necessary
  • examining and exchanging the contract of sale – including recommending any changes to your contract prior to settlement
  • paying the deposit
  • arranging payment of stamp duty, and mortgage duty, if required
  • completing any application for exemption from stamp duty, if applicable, see:- http://www.apps05.osr.nsw.gov.au/erevenue/calculators/fhpsimple.php
  • liaising with your incoming mortgagee, assisting as required
  • checking if there are outstanding arrears or land tax obligations
  • finding out if any government authority has a vested interest in the land or if any planned development could affect the property (e.g. local council, Sydney Water, Roads and Traffic Authority) and ensure that your transaction is processed in accordance with conveyancing law in NSW
  • finding out any information that may not have been previously disclosed such. Eg information in relation to illegal building work
  • obtaining the s.109 Certificate
  • calculating adjustments for council and water rates for the property settlement
  • overseeing the change of title
  • completing any final checks prior to settlement
  • attending settlement.
  • reporting after settlement and follow up, as needs be
  • dealing with the agent throughout

For more information about Apartment Conveyancing go to our FAQ page.