Buying off the plan involves signing a contract for a property that is yet to be built or in the process of being built. Your decision to buy this type of property is influenced purely by plans and artistic renderings made by the property seller which is usually a property developer.
In recent years there has been a lot of negative press around off-the-plan developments. Many new property buyers have been left disappointed by the final results of their newly built property. Sadly in many of these circumstances, issues with a buying off-the-plan can be avoided when a thorough review of the property documents has been made.
Here at P&B Law, our professional Property Lawyers can conduct a thorough review of your property purchase documents. They can look for any red flags or potential for legal issues that could show this new property purchase isn’t what it seems. To help safeguard yourself from disappointment, consider the following risks:
It’s always best to do your due diligence before signing a contract of sale. If you’re not sure what to look for then consider using a Property Lawyer or Property Conveyancer to review the contract. Be wary of the fact that if your developer goes bankrupt during construction you stand to risk losing your initial deposit on the house.
A great way to check on your property developer is to see evidence of past building projects. Contacting previous customers of the developer is another great way to gauge how good they really are. If possible, consider looking at previous building projects by the developer to assess their quality.
In the contract of sale for your off-the-plan property, you’ll find what’s called a sunset clause. This is a statement that puts a time limit on the validity of the contract. If the developer fails to complete the project by the date specified in the clause then the contract will be declared null and void. In this scenario, the deposit must be returned to you.
The sunset clause is essentially created to protect you from excessive building delays. In some cases, dodgy developers have purposely run over the date specified in the sunset clause in order to resell the property for a higher price. That’s why it’s so important that a legal professional such as a property lawyer reviews your contract and ensures the building deadlines for your property are within a reasonable timeframe.
Before committing to the purchase of an off-the-plan property it’s important to make plenty of checks. The following items are just some of the things a Property Lawyer should be checking for you before it’s time to sign on the dotted line.