August 19, 2016

Will the property I buy be Council approved?

In Queensland, the REIQ Standard Terms of Contract make no provision for a property to have all Council approvals in place when selling.

So you don’t always know the answer to this question: Will the property I buy be Council approved?

You buy a car – you get a Roadworthy, right??? Well, in the case of a residential or commercial property in Queensland, you don’t.

The Standard Terms of an REIQ Contract make reference to notices or orders issued by a “competent authority” (ie. Council) requiring work to be done.

Think of this scenario.

The current homeowner has put in an application for work to be done on their property. It may be a shed to be built, improvements to be made. The actual work to be done isn’t that important to the story. What matters is, if it has been inspected by Council and not yet approved because Council requires further works to be done, then the buyer has some power under the Contract to have the seller rectify any outstanding matters. they would also need to have approval granted.

BUT if the Seller has made application to have work done as above but hasn’t had Council inspect and no advice has been given by Council regarding any works done, the Buyer has no power under the Contract to have the Seller obtain the approvals. You could be buying a property without a “final”.

Confused? We don’t blame you. The best thing you can do is put a special condition in the Contract before you sign it. The special condition will give you protection during your conveyancing process.

Remember to read the Contract (and that includes the Contract Terms) before you sign. If you aren’t sure what something means then ask your lawyer to explain it.

It is always better to be safe than sorry when entering into one of the biggest purchases you are ever likely to make. Have the confidence to know, Will the property I buy be Council approved?

Give us a call. We are happy to help.