Structures Not Approved by Council: What a Buyer Can Do

There are many important things to keep in mind when buying a house. One of the best ways to keep issues from arising is hiring a top-notch conveyancing firm in Brisbane to help you out. In the meantime, though, it’s never a bad idea to familiarise yourself with a few of the issues that could potentially crop up. One thing that prospective homeowners run into time and time again are structures on a property that haven’t been approved by council; learn more below.


Are You Protected from Unapproved House Structures?

Sure, the pool, carport or extension on the house of your dreams may look to be on the up-and-up; before signing on the dotted line, though, you’re going to want to make sure of it. The Standard REIQ Contract does not have any sort of provisions concerning whether or not structures on a property must be approved by the Local Council. In other words, if you sign the contract – then discover that the Local Council has not approved an existing structure – you are going to be out of luck.


Options for Protecting Yourself

Since the standard contract does not protect the buyer against unapproved house structures, it is up to the buyer to protect himself. A professional conveyancing solicitor in QLD will know how to do this, but it helps to have a handle on what your options are anyway. One option is to have a Special Condition added to the contract explicitly stating that all structures must be approved by the Local Council in order for the contract to be valid. A time limit can be specified as well.

Another option for protecting yourself from unapproved structures on a property that you’re thinking about buying is conducting enquiries yourself, prior to signing the contract. If you zero in on a property that has a pool, pool fencing, a pergola or other structures on it, you can check with the Local Council to see if they are approved or not. If not, you can inform the seller that you won’t be signing a contract until they have been approved.


Be Smart When Buying a House

Although there are many things to keep in mind when buying a house, it is important not to overlook some of them in order to get through the process more quickly. Rushing along can cause mistakes to be made – and you’ll often end up paying for them. An experienced conveyancing solicitor is an invaluable tool against making costly mistakes, and can guide you about things like handling structures on a property. Always hire a conveyancer when looking for a new home. That way, the chances of signing a contract for a property with unapproved structures will be significantly fewer.
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Andrew Francey


Chief Operating Officer

Andrew has over two decades experience in high growth fast moving consumer goods, agribusiness and professional services. Supporting the Ownit team to deliver on client expectations, and implementing processes to scale the organisation, is a key focus for Andrew.

Andrew is a C-Suite leader with Chairman and Board experience.  He has formal qualifications in Business, Applied Finance and AICD Company Directors Course.

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