Know Your RIGHTS and be prepared - Technical Legal Documents

THERE are a number of documents that must be available when the property is offered for sale. These provide the buyer with all the technical and legal details they will need to know about the property.

The documents you need to see are:

  • Contract for the Sale of residential property:

    A seller must have a draft contract for the sale of residential property ready when a property is first offered for sale.

    The seller or their solicitor can prepare the draft. Section 11 of the Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) ACT 2003 described conditions that must be included in this contract and will be implied in the contract even if not stated.

  • Crown Lease:

    Sets out the conditions upon which the land is held and how that land may be used - for example, residential, rural or commercial use.

  • Certificate of Title:

    Sets out who the legal owner of the property is and in what manner they hold the land -for example, as a joint tenant with another person. It will also indicate whether anyone other than the registered owners claim an interest in the property.

  • Copy of any encumbrance shown on the Certificate of Title:

    Shows the details of any caveats or restrictive covenants over the land. A statement about any encumbrance not shown on the Certificate of Title: This gives details of any unregistered mortgage or other unregistered encumbrances.

  • Asbestos Advice:

    Owners and occupiers of premises (including people renting or leasing who have an obligation to repair and maintain the premises) need to give tenants and prospective tenants, prospective buyers, tradespeople and maintenance workers, written information on what they know about asbestos at the premises.

  • Deposited Plan:

    Will show the plan of the land and any easements on the land. An easement is a defined area over which another person or organisation has permanent access rights. An easement normally takes in the land above and adjacent to electricity cables, water and sewage pipes. An easement cannot usually be built over or under. So the location of easement will affect the position where a home, garage or extension can be erected.

  • Building Conveyancing Inquiry:

    Conducted by the ACT Planning and Land Authority and will provide copies of the certificate of occupancy, survey certificate, approved building plans, drainage plan and building file summary sheet.

  • Lease Conveyancing Inquiry:

    Conducted by the ACT Planning and Land Authority and will provide information, if any exists for the property, about heritage listing, outstanding rent under the crown lease, development application affecting the property, breach of the crown lease, any orders issued against the property, the compliance certificate (compliance with provisions of crown lease. applications for dual occupancy, and a contaminated land search.

  • Energy Efficiency Rating Statement:

    Gives details about the energy efficiency of a property.

  • Building and Compliance Inspection Report:

    Provides details about the structural soundness of a property and information about whether structures on the land have been approved under the relevant legislation.

  • Pest Inspection Report:

    Provides details of any termite or other pest infestation.

  • A Copy of the Units Plan or proposed units' plan:

    Applies only to unit title property and shows the plan of the unit and the common property within the unit development.

  • A Copy of the Minutes of Meetings of the Owners' Corporation and Executive Committee for the last two years

    Is required for a multi-storey units instead of a building conveyancing.

  • Section 75 Certificate: Inquiry, building and compliance inspection report and pest inspection report:

    Issued by the body corporate for a unit to provide information about any outstanding levies for the unit insurance details, resolutions that affect the proportionate contributions for the unit and a copy of the articles for the body corporate.

ACT Property Laws

THE best way to ensure you know your rights and obligations when buying a home is to find out more about the laws that govern the Canberra market.

  • Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Act 2003:

    This act applies to all residential real estate sales in the ACT, whether they are undertaken by private sellers or through real estate agents.

    The act offers protection for buyers by setting down clear disclosure requirements for sellers and agents when a property is offered for sale.

    A seller must provide reports about the physical condition and special provisions that apply to the property.

    This will detail the particular conditions that the seller wants to apply to the transaction.

    By having this knowledge when properties are inspected, prospective buyers can quickly make an offer for the property and sellers can obtain the benefit and convenience of a rapid sale.

  • Agents Act 2003

    This act requires all real estate personnel in the ACT to be of good character, to possess prescribed competencies and qualifications and to conduct themselves professionally and ethically at all times.

    These laws are a source of protection for you as a real estate buyer but your greatest protection is your awareness of your own circumstances and discipline to make realistic and honest decisions.

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