Common Area Inspection
This inspection applies to condominiums or townhomes, and, at times some components of homes within gated communities. Although inspection of components not being purchased by or maintained by the homeowner, falls outside the Scope of Inspection, it is important to include these items as the overall health of the building and the maintenance habits of the strata, will have a huge impact on the homeowner’s experience going forward. Additionally, each Strata is different from the next and the areas of responsibility differ. Inspectors have no way of knowing where those lines are drawn, so I inspect these properties in much the same way as a detached residential property, as though you are responsible for it all. In the end, really, you are.
Upon arriving onsite, I make a circuit of the building’s exterior. I am looking for notable defects in wall cladding, windows, evidence of uncontrolled moisture on the building, drainage conditions around the building, vegetation growth and grade clearances.
Inside the building, I look at additional storage and the dedicated parking spot. Getting into the basements of buildings tells me a lot about the health of the building. I locate emergency exits and fire protection equipment. Where common areas are concerned, I focus on below grade spaces as that is where any problems would potentially have a big impact on owner. Where possible and time permitting, I will walk through common areas, like gyms and social areas.
I want you to know about defects in any of these areas, as they will eventually need to be repaired. The repairs come out of the contingency fund, which comes from your strata fees. If there is deferred maintenance or a serious defect occurs with the building or building materials, the responsibility for costs for unplanned repairs or ahead-of-schedule replacements falls on the homeowners. It’s important to be aware of any defects or maintenance issues that will become problematic BEFORE you make your purchase.