5 Things You Need to Know About Searches When Buying a Property

Have you entered into a contract to buy a house and are now considering what searches you should do?

  1. Search 1: Building Records/approval search - This search will detail any building approvals or inspections that have occurred and advise you whether these have final approval.  The reason you want to do this search is to ensure that any additions to the property such as a patio or a shed have local government approval.

  2. Search 2: Registered Encumbrances - On the title you may find that there is an easement or some other administrative advice.  These notices may detail restrictions on what you can and can’t do on your property.  An easement may, for example, restrict the location of a swimming pool or even your fence.

  3. Search 3: Pool Safety Certificate - Under the Building Act an owner of a property with a pool has an obligation to ensure that that pool has a pool safety certificate.  The pool safety certificate confirms that the pool fencing complies with safety requirements. If the property doesn’t have a certificate then one will need to be obtained and there may be costs associated with making the fence compliant.

  4. Search 4: Survey Plan - Obtaining a copy of the survey plan will enable you to confirm that the lot you think you have contracted to buy is actually the lot you are buying.  It will also show you the location of any easements or covenants on your property.

  5. Search 5: Development Application Report - A development application report will show you if a development application has been lodged within 400 metres of the property.  A development nearby could significantly change or alter the streetscape, traffic flow or the area that you are buying into.

At Argon Law we understand the importance of undertaking the right searches. If you are entering into a contract, talk to us – we are here to help.

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