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Half a House

half a house

You’ve all heard the story of the man who ended up with half a house. And I bet I can guess what you’re thinking – ‘how did this happen?’ Maybe even, ‘that’s unbelievable’.

This is a perfect example of why it’s so important to engage a Licensed Conveyancer and get reliable legal advice.

Whilst we don’t know the exact circumstances surrounding Mr Aryal’s purchase, here’s what we think you should know so that this doesn’t happen to you or someone you know.

Entering into Separate Contracts for the Land and the Build

You are only required to have a legal representative for the purchase of land because it involves a transfer of title. As such, most Purchasers will not seek out a Licensed Conveyancer to obtain advice on their Building Contract. Typically, Purchasers will just sign this with the Builder.

Not all Building Contracts are the same and almost all of them contain terms and conditions. It may seem practical and cost-effective to just sign the Building Contract with the Builder, but have you read those terms and conditions and if you have, do you fully understand them?

For this reason, we suggest you obtain legal advice on the Building Contract before signing with the Builder. It is of the utmost importance that you understand what it is you are signing before you do. In most cases, the terms can even be negotiated.

Entering Into an ‘off-the-Plan’ Contract

Off-the-plan contracts typically require settlement once the dwelling is complete. The Contract contains several conditions, some of which deal with the timeframe the Builder has to complete within and what happens if there are changes to the original plan of the home. The terms of the Contract, as well as NSW legislation, provide for what changes are permitted and what changes would result in the Purchaser being able to make a claim for compensation or get out of the Contract.

It is important to obtain advice on the Contract before you enter it. This way, you are advised on all the ‘worst-case scenarios’ and can make an informed decision about whether the terms suit your individual situation. Only then can you determine whether you are prepared to take on the element of risk associated with purchasing a property off-the-plan.

If there are any changes to the plan of the home, your legal representative can advise you and determine whether the change allows you to claim compensation or permits you to get out of the Contract entirely. Contact us to learn more.


Melina Costantino


Melina has over 9 years of experience as a Licensed Conveyancer, acting for client matters involving; purchase and sale of residential and commercial property, Retirement Village Contracts, Put & Call Options, Call Options, and Family Transfers. She is passionate about helping a wide range of clients across all aspects of the buying and selling process and ensuring that her clients meet all their legal obligations.

For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:

Melina Costantino
Licensed Conveyancer & JP
1300 268 887

Contact Our Coutts today.

This blog is merely general and non-specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.

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