3rd May 2014
UNAPPROVED STRUCTURES Sometimes, when a buyer has made an offer on a property, they discover prior to settlement, that the property has an unapproved structure. Most often these are patios or verandahs but they can also include more substantial buildings such as a conservatory, workshop, garage or extra bedroom. These kinds of structures normally require formal approval from the local council before construction, thus ensuring that they are both safe and in keeping with council policies. Such laws and regulations are important for personal injury and insurance reasons along with safety measures around fire, electricity and structural soundness.
104 Somerville Road 9316 9000
Williamstown 1/66 Douglas Parade (Corner Stevedore Street) 9393 1600 www.jasstephens.com.au
As to what happens next depends upon whether or not the seller knew that the structure did not have local government approval. If the seller did not know that the structure was unapproved then the sale contract would proceed to settlement without any further obligation upon the seller. However, once news of the unapproved structure was made public through this process it would be up to the buyer to address the matter after settlement. Usually this would mean seeking retrospective approval from the local council. Unapproved structures can sometimes be detected by a building inspection provided that is in their brief. However, if itâ€™s the case that the seller did in fact know there were unapproved structures but did not disclose this to the agent who in turn could not relay that information to prospective buyers, thatâ€™s a different situation. Under this circumstance the contract for sale would proceed to settlement but the buyer could then take action against the seller to recoup any damages that they incurred as a result of the seller not disclosing relevant information. And so itâ€™s important as the vendor to act truthfully from the beginning to avoid any potential legal action and to ensure a prompt, successful and hassle free sale. Craig J. Stephens Managing Director / Officer in Effective Control M 0418 547 938
As a service to our vendors, we will require names & phone numbers on entry of all inspections. Privacy Act 2000: We use personal information collected from you during open for inspections for security purposes. We may also use that information to contact you with respect to this property and others we believe may be of interest to you. Also, we may contact you in relation to other services provided by us or our associates such as insurance, mortgages and loans. By providing your information to us you agree to our use of it as described above unless you advise us differently. If the information is not provided we may not be able to provide an effective and comprehensive service to you. (Your personal information will be collected and held in accordance with provisions of the Information Privacy Act 2000). We have obtained all information in this document from sources we believe to be reliable, however, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. Prospective purchasers are advised to carry out their own investigations. We strongly recommend that you clearly register your interest with our representative at the open for inspection, so that in the event of a sale being imminent, your position is protected. We make every effort to contact all interested parties prior to a property being sold.
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