TALKING LAW with Brett Moller
It is always the things that crop up at the last minute and how they are handled that can either make buying or selling a property a pleasurable contented process or leave you with a taste of sour grapes.
You should know in a Residential Contract that risk in the property passes to the Buyer on the next business day after the Contract is signed. The Buyer must take out an insurance cover note to protect the Buyers interest. I advise the Seller likewise to continue with their insurance until settlement is completed, just in case.
However the Contract further provides that the Seller must use the property reasonably until settlement. The Seller must not do anything regarding the property or tenancies that may significantly alter them or result in later expense for the Buyer.
The Buyer is entitled to a pre-settlement final inspection. What happens if the grass is not mowed, there are holes in the wall from where the TV bracket has been removed, the two bay garage shed has been removed or the tenants have been given notice to vacate all without the Buyer knowing.
Your solicitor will be able to advise you in these situations. If the value of the sale is say $400,000 then it will need to be a significant issue for you to not complete. If you are a Buyer at all times though you can complete and reserve your rights.
Usually matters complete without issue. My mantra is to ask the client selling how would they feel if they were the Buyer and came across such a situation, as in certain circumstances the Buyer has no right not to proceed to complete, notwithstanding a damage issue.
As always you should seek your own independent legal advice in relation to buying and selling a property.
Brett Moller – Consultant Lawyer
Vandeleur & Todd Pty Ltd – Gordonvale
Ph 4237 1802 Mob 0417 609 656