If you are selling a house in which you have carried out an extension at some stage in the past, or perhaps you are doing extensions at the present time and anticipate that you may sell in the future – there are a number of things to bear in mind to avoid potential problems with your sale.

Important Documents

In order to avoid potential problems with your sale, you will need to keep in mind the following:-

  • Keep copies of council approved building plans and approvals
  • Keep copies of contracts entered into with builders and any builders insurance details provided to you at the time. In particular the home Building Act requires that a home warranty insurance certificate is attached to a sale contract with respect to building works carried out within the previous 7 years if the value of the building work exceeded $20,000.00
  • Keep copies of any engineers report (which may have been required to comply with council development conditions) for example geotechnical assessments, certifications for footings and foundations or concrete slabs etc
  • When the building work is completed arrange for a final inspection by council of your private certifier – this is often overlooked and will sometimes lead to the council issuing an order requiring completion of various outstanding building works. An occupation certificate issued by the local council or your private certifier is generally required when residential building work is completed.
  • Recent changes to the law requires that a vendor selling a property with a swimming pool arrange an inspection for the purposes of obtaining a certificate of compliance, or alternatively a certificate of non-compliance, disclosing defects to be rectified.

Common Council Issues

It is sometimes the case when a property is sold that the purchaser will request the local council carry out an inspection of the property to confirm the legality of the improvements on the land, for instance the house, garage, sheds and pergola etc. Sometimes council will request additional information if its records are incomplete or if a final inspection was not carried out at the time the building work was completed. It may be the case that completion of your sale may be delayed if the necessary information is not readily available. Similarly, the council may on occasion issue a work order to rectify or complete building work required under a previous building approval.

We recommend that you consult one of our experienced solicitors who will assist to ensure that you have a smooth purchase or sale. Contact Mark Nolan for more information.