Don’t Buy A Lemon
It’s Buyer Beware when buying a house
By Anthony Cordato, Property Lawyer
It looks like a dream home – meticulously designed and built – when advertised for sale on domain.com. A property which looks so perfect that no building inspection is needed.
The reality is that after you move in it becomes a nightmare – the roof leaks, the doors and windows leak every time it rains, the walls are out of square, the pool tiles are slippery, the stairs are uneven. In short, the house is a lemon.
Is the buyer able to recover any of the cost of repairing the building defects from the seller?
According to a recent NSW Court of Appeal decision the answer is no – It’s buyer beware (caveat emptor) – the seller is not responsible to pay for any repairs despite the deceptive advertising.
So what should a home buyer do?
Every house, renovated or not, needs to be checked out by a building and pest inspector who can find the trouble spots and report how serious they are.
The house needs to be checked out before the Contract is exchanged, or no later than when the cooling off period ends. Otherwise, the buyer is locked into a Contract with no rights to make a claim.
Have you bought a lemon, or know someone who has? Or managed to avoid disaster, dodged a property-investing-lemon-bullet? Share your story below!
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