When Christine Robinson bought a high-rise apartment in June 2017 she didn't know she was also buying a building manager's services - for 25 years.
Robinson, a nurse, and her IT worker husband Chris also didn't know that they, and the other owners in the North Melbourne building, would be paying that building manager, CP Property Pty Ltd, an increase of 4 per cent after the first year and 5 per cent every year after that.
This means the building management contract, worth an initial $172,000 before GST, would rise to $549,434 and a cumulative total $8.1 million by the end of 25-year contract. That's an average yearly rate of $325,301. For the 61-year-old Robinson, who could easily still be in the unit in 25 years' time, it was a shock.
"My nursing salary sometimes went up 1 per cent in three years but we are paying this company 5 per cent guaranteed increase," she says.