Conveyancing for off-the-plan – what’s involved?

If you are buying a unit in a building that is under construction, there is no existing title or survey plan relating to the lot you are buying. For that reason, there are copious compliance issues and additional documentation to precisely describe the property itself and all the legal arrangements that will apply to the body corporate.

The developer is required to provide you with a disclosure plan and a disclosure statement before you sign up. Usually, the disclosure statement will also include the proposed bylaws for the body corporate, the proposed management agreement with the body corporate caretaker and the proposed secretarial agreement with the body corporate secretary.

It is important that these documents be carefully examined and understood.

Not least in importance are the schedule of specifications and finishes and any exceptions which might entitle the developer to vary the design or finishes.

If a material change occurs during construction, the developer is required to issue a further disclosure statement in respect of which you may have contract termination or compensation rights.

The developer’s solicitor will notify the buyer’s solicitor as construction completion draws near and when the survey plan for the particular unit has registered. The settlement is usually required 14 or 21 days following receipt of notification that the survey plan has registered.

It is important that your financial year can complete the relevant loan documents to make the advance of the settlement monies within that time.

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Last updated: 20 January 2020