Storms a risk at sale time

Pilbara News - - Property - Hay­den Groves

The win­ter months in Perth are usu­ally cold and wet and this year has been no ex­cep­tion.

There have been many days where the city has copped a soak­ing along with strong winds and icy morn­ings.

These con­di­tions can cause dam­age to prop­er­ties, fences, gar­dens and trees.

Depend­ing on the sever­ity of the dam­age, most home­own­ers can re­pair or tidy up them­selves.

How­ever, what hap­pens if you’re a prop­erty owner in the process of sell­ing your home?

How to deal with the sit­u­a­tion

If you’ve re­cently sold your prop­erty and it’s cur­rently un­der con­tract when the storm dam­age is caused, Clause 8 of the Joint Form of Gen­eral Con­di­tions re­lat­ing to “Risk” comes into play.

Ma­jor dam­age

If the prop­erty be­comes un­in­hab­it­able or any other build­ing or improvement is ren­dered un­us­able com­pared to as at the con­tract date the seller is re­quired, un­der clause 8.3, to give no­tice to the buyer to that ef­fect.

There are ad­di­tional con­trac­tual el­e­ments to this, for­tu­nately rare, oc­cur­rence and le­gal ad­vice is of­ten nec­es­sary to en­sure both par­ties to the con­tract un­der­stand their rights and obli­ga­tions.

Mi­nor dam­age

If the dam­age is mi­nor, the seller would re­fer to Clause 9.1(e) of the Joint Form of Gen­eral Con­di­tions whereby it’s war­ranted that the prop­erty at set­tle­ment will be in the same state and con­di­tion it was in im­me­di­ately be­fore the con­tract date.

Where a fence has been sig­nif­i­cantly dam­aged dur­ing the con­tract pe­riod, the owner, along with the neigh­bour, are re­quired to re­pair or re­place the fence within a rea­son­able time.

Let’s hope you don’t find your­self in this sit­u­a­tion this win­ter. Hay­den Groves is the pres­i­dent of the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Western Aus­tralia.

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