A Grey Area in Property Contracts

A Grey Area in Property Contracts

When buying a property, few people fully understand every aspect of the contract, partly due to the terms that are used in it. This is why it is essential to have your property lawyers go over the contract and explain everything to you. Even then, they may miss something thinking it is obvious because they are used to it, whereas to the first home buyer especially, it may not be the least bit obvious.

One term that may seem obvious when given due consideration is often missed in amongst all the other terms and that is buying “as inspected’.  If the term is hidden amongst a lot of other jargon it can be less than clear – or people just don’t think about it. Even if they realise it means that the property they purchase will be in the same condition it was when they inspected it, they may not realise what the ramifications are.

In actual terms, it means that if something was broken or not working properly when you looked at the home, you can’t expect it to be fixed when you sign on the dotted line – or even before then. If the floors were in a dirty state or the flyscreen was torn when you inspected the property and agreed to buy it, the seller has no legal obligation to clean or fix it.

According to Clause 6. 1 (b) 2 of the General Conditions on the property contract all the seller is required to do is move their possessions, vehicles, chattels and rubbish from the property, leaving the property ‘chattels’ in place.