Tip of the Week - Buying Into a Strata Corporation Dealing With a Large Number of Leaks

Purchasing a unit in a strata corporation that's been grappling with a significant number of leaks and water related issues can carry certain risks. That being said, leaks tend to be one of the most frequent issues facing strata developments, so it’s important to not only evaluate the number of leaks reported, but also the source of leaks and the strata’s response to these challenges.

1. The Risks:

a) Property Damage: Persistent leaks can cause property damage, including structural issues, mould growth, and compromised building integrity. Buying into such a building might mean inheriting existing problems or facing new ones.

b) Financial Burden: Dealing with recurring leaks can be costly. The strata corporation might need funds for repairs, investigations, and remediation. As a new owner, you may need to contribute to these costs through higher strata fees or special assessments.

c) Decreased Property Value: A history of leaks can impact property values. Buyers might hesitate to invest in a leak-prone building, leading to lower demand and potentially affecting resale value.

d) Inconvenience and Disruption: Frequent leaks disrupt daily life, necessitating repairs and renovations. Temporary relocation during extensive repairs could cause inconveniences and extra costs for residents.

e) Insurance and Liability: Buildings with a history of numerous leaks might struggle to get insurance or may have to pay higher premiums and/or deductibles. Residents may, in turn, need to adjust their personal policies and face significant premium increases.

2. The Strata’s Response:

a) Addressing Leaks: It's crucial to assess how the strata handles leaks. Does it promptly send professionals for remediation? Do they pinpoint leak sources and conduct additional analyses, like plumbing evaluations?

b) Preventative Maintenance: Does the strata carry out preventative maintenance? Regular plumbing inspections, drainage cleaning, and appliance checks are vital. For older stratas, plumbing assessments and building envelope inspections are also important.

c) Long-Term Plan: Does the strata have a plan for aging infrastructure? Long-term strategies are essential to address ongoing challenges.

To minimize risks associated with purchasing a unit in a strata corporation that has and continues to face a significant amount of leaks, it’s important to investigate the sources and causes of leaks, assess the strata's response, review maintenance records, and seek professional advice like building inspections and legal counsel.

Condo Clear Services Inc


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