Are Condo Inspections Beneficial?
It is easy to understand why many people think that a condo inspection may not be required. After all, the low maintenance lifestyle that you expect with a condo is part of the appeal, everything is supposed to be taken care of for you – or is it???
Building envelope, structure, heating/cooling, plumbing, electrical, these are all things that for the most part, are part of your condo fees. But, depending on the rules of the condo association, you may be additionally responsible for some of these items within your unit as well.
For instance, while heating is often provided to your unit (typically via a hot water circulating system) the repair of piping, radiators, valves, and thermostat within the unit may fall to the unit owner. If, due to neglect, these items cause damage to the unit below, the originating unit owner could be liable as well.
The same goes for plumbing. While water services are delivered to the unit if you have a leaking shower, or a clogged drain, the cost of repair often falls on you.
Electricity is also delivered to your unit, but you will have your own separate electrical panel and wiring that will likely be your responsibility, and may be a safety hazard.
All of these items can be an unexpected costly expense to the new condo owner. A home inspection helps make buyers aware of these conditions, and others within the unit itself.
However, your unit is only part of the picture, you should also obtain condo documents which outline any special assessments. These will show the condition of the common building components, not covered during the home inspection.
Remember, all buildings require maintenance that needs to be paid for. It’s just a matter of how that maintenance cost is divided up. It is essential that a home inspection is performed along with a condo document review to give the prospective owner a complete understanding of what to expect.