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Are you looking to BUY a house in Townsville?
Buying property is one of the most important financial transactions you will make. At NQ Legal we are here to help you through the process. Here are some key issues that you must consider before signing a Contract:
1. Cooling Off Period
All residential property sales in Queensland are subject to a buyers cooling off period. The cooling off period is for five (5) business days and commences on the day that the buyer or the buyer’s solicitor receives a copy of the Contract which has been executed by both parties.
If you decide to terminate the Contract under the cooling off period, you or your solicitor must give notice to the seller in accordance with the terms of the Contract. You may also be required to pay the seller 0.25% of the purchase price i.e. if the purchase price under the Contract was $100,000.00, the termination penalty would be $250.00.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When buying a residential property at Auction, no cooling off period applies.
2. Pool Fencing Safety Certificate
From December 2010 the Seller/Real Estate Agent is required to provide you with a Disclosure Notice where there is a pool on the property and there is no pool safety certificate. In the event that a pool safety certificate isn’t provided you are required to ensure that the pool fencing meets relevant requirements within three months after settlement.
You are also required to register your pool with the Department of Housing and Public Works. Please note that if you are purchasing a Unit or Townhouse the Body Corporate is usually responsible for registering the pool. Fines of up to $2,000.00 may apply if your pool or spa is not registered.
You can check whether the pool is registered by clicking
3. Smoke Alarms
Under the Contract of Sale the seller must disclose whether a compliant smoke alarm is installed in the property. If a complaint smoke alarm is not installed the seller must ensure that one is installed prior to settlement at their own cost. Please note that a seller cannot contract out of their obligation to have a smoke alarm installed.
If the seller has disclosed that a compliant smoke alarm has not been installed and you proceed to settle the Contract you will then be liable to ensure that a compliant smoke alarm is installed. In the event that a smoke alarm is not installed you risk being fined up to $375.00.
Please visit the Queensland Fire and Rescue website for more information
4. Safety Switch
Under the Electrical Safety Regulation 2002, all domestic residences constructed after June 1992 must have an approved safety switch installed. Under the Contract the Seller must disclose whether an approved Safety Switch has been installed in the property.
In the event that there is no safety switch installed in the property the buyer must arrange to have one installed within three months from settlement.
It is important to note that once the Contract has been signed by all parties, the property becomes your risk from 5pm on the next business day after the Contract is signed. We strongly suggest that you arrange for the property to be insured.
6. Building Approvals/Permits
If you are looking at purchasing a property and you are unsure whether building approvals have been obtained for all or part of the home, please contact us as soon as possible to arrange for a special condition to be inserted in the Contract which will protect your rights.
Under the standard REIQ Contract of Sale the buyer assumes all liability for any unapproved improvements/structures to the property once the contract has been signed. The liability includes the cost of obtaining council approval of the demolition of the alternation if they cannot be made to comply with council rules.
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