Owning your first apartment is a huge leap forward for most people. Daunting and exciting, being an owner comes with its own collection of responsibilities. But there are three key things you can do to make life in your new home a whole lot smoother.
Owners Corporation participation
Depending on the size of your apartment building, you may have the opportunity to become part of the Owners Corporation Committee – also referred to as Body Corporate or Strata Committee. This is your chance to influence decisions such as how the building’s budget is spent.
If you ever have a problem with your apartment, having a great relationship with the building’s Owners Corporation Manager is a huge benefit. Make them your friend as quickly as possible.
A good way to do this is to appreciate the fact that they will likely be managing several apartment buildings, and that most of the time anyone contacts them, it’s to complain about something! Be the person who is understanding of this, work together to resolve issues, and they’ll be appreciative and more likely to help out when you need them to.
Even if you are not an active member of the committee, it’s crucial that you make the effort to attend the Annual General Meeting of your Owners Corporation. You’ll be surprised what you find out, and can exercise your vote on things that affect your life within the building.
Understand what’s included in your fees
Not keen on attending meetings? You should still be knowledgeable about what your body corporate fees are for. If you know what’s included and covered you’ll be in a better position should something go awry.
You are well within your rights to enquire about any aspect of the fees at any point, so get in the habit of keeping yourself up to date on what’s going on with the upkeep of your building and related property such as shared rooftops, gardens and entrances.
Owners Corporation fees are also vital to know before you purchase a property. If you buy based on a specific budget, then find out afterwards that the fees are another couple of thousand dollars every year, you may find that great new lifestyle is more of a struggle to achieve.
On the positive side, once you’re paying the money, you should be making the most of all of the amenities it covers. And if you subsequently lease out your apartment, you’ll want to make sure potential tenants are aware of all of these benefits.
Know your neighbours
Now, we realise not all of us want to be best friends with our neighbours. But at least knowing their names and being on speaking terms with them can have a number of advantages.
Research shows that neighbours in apartment complexes who know each other have fewer incidences of noise complaints. The theory is that if you are familiar with and respect the folks next door, you are likely to be more considerate regarding music volumes, late night party disturbances, and so on.
Aside from borrowing a cup of sugar and looking out for your place whenever you’re away, simply having a peaceful, relaxing home is worth more than money can buy.
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