It's amazing how many apartment complexes have sprung up around Brisbane over the past few years! Here's a few key things to remember for those looking to get into the game.
1. The Legislation
Like all good things in life, property is governed by an ungodly amount of legislation. For developers selling "off the plan" (selling an apartment before it's built), the most important of these is the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 QLD (‘BCCMA’). This Act covers, amongst other things, your requirements to potential buyers.
2. Contracts and Disclosure Documents
You're going to have to plan your developments carefully. This will require a number of consultants, which is good news for everybody except the person picking up the bill (i.e. you). One area you need to pay close attention to is the disclosure documents, which tell the buyer all the relevant facts about the property.
Why's this so important? Simple -- if you don't comply with the BCCMA, your buyer can terminate the contract at any time up until settlement. Since reaching settlement can take many months or even years, you could be faced with a very long stretch of uncertainty.
Your disclosure statement should include the following:
(i) Identification of the proposed lot and disclosure plan;
(ii) Annual contributions payable to body corporate for each proposed lot; and
(iii) Proposed community management statement including by-laws.
The disclosure plan must be prepared by a surveyor and show details such as the number of the lot, area, dimensions and boundaries and proposed orientation. These can be prepared by a surveyor based on the architect’s drawings.
The annual contributions are generally set out in a set of budgets and table of levies for each lot and are prepared by a strata manager. The strata manager will consider the facilities and layout of the complex and can be of great assistance in the up-front structuring of the development.
As for the community management ...