Buyer beware: Warnings of ‘rorts’ for new apartment buyers

DOMAIN

 

It’s been branded the biggest new rort in apartment living: a way of locking unwary new unit owners into expensive long-term contracts to pay for basic services the developer of the building should have provided.

Instead of paying to install the necessary building infrastructure, such as gas, electricity, water, stormwater filtration, heating, airconditioning and internet access, some developers are transferring the costs onto owners via inflated service contracts.

Most states’ strata laws forbid developers from signing contracts committing apartment owners to deals that they haven’t agreed to. However, some developers turn up at the first AGM of a new apartment block with complex contracts for owners to ratify, committing new apartment purchasers to huge long-term payouts for embedded infrastructure that would normally be provided for free.

 

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