Prop­erty News

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cru­cial dates on which most agree­ments hinge, says Mccauley, are:

The date the prop­erty is ac­tu­ally trans­ferred at the Deeds Of­fice, ie the date le­gal own­er­ship passes from the seller to the buyer; and The date it is oc­cu­pied by the buyer. A good sale agree­ment will al­ways spec­ify which date is stip­u­lated for the own­er­ship risks to pass to the buyer. How­ever, in the ab­sence of spec­i­fied dates, com­mon law prece­dents will pre­vail... which ac­cepts that the risk passes to the buyer the day the last sus­pen­sive con­di­tion is met. This im­plies that if the deal is in cash, the buyer will take re­spon­si­bil­ity as soon as the seller has ac­cepted and signed the sale agree­ment. Where the deal is sub­ject to mort­gage bond fi­nance, re­spon­si­bil­ity passes to the buyer as soon as he ac­cepts a bond grant.” In Raw­son Prop­er­ties’ agree­ments the pur­chaser is held li­able for all the risks as­so­ci­ated with own­er­ship from the date of pos­ses­sion, un­less some­thing else is specif­i­cally stated to the con­trary in the con­tract. “At Raw­son’s we ... ad­vise buy­ers to take out their own all risks in­sur­ance pol­icy to com­mence upon the date they take pos­ses­sion of the prop­erty.

“At all costs, the sit­u­a­tion must be avoided where one per­son is in the house but an­other has the to­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity for it in the event of a fire, van­dal­ism or flood and there is no in­sur­ance in place. My ad­vice to all buy­ers is there­fore twofold: find out ex­actly when risk passes to you and take out ad­e­quate in­sur­ance to cover these risks. My ad­vice to sell­ers is to keep pay­ing your in­sur­ance right up to the trans­fer date.”

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