Before purchasing a property it is important to make sure that previous owners have obtained appropriate permits for any additions or improvements.
I recently inspected a property in Melbourne’s outer western suburbs that had what appeared to be a recently constructed extension to the rear of the property. The addition was not well designed as it cut off much of the natural light to the living areas.
The home was situated in a new estate and was built only five years ago. I asked the selling agent if the addition had a building permit. He informed me that a building permit had been obtained by the current owners.
After making an enquiry at the local council I discovered that a building permit had not been granted for the addition.
Not checking before you buy can end up being
costly for unsuspecting buyers. Thorough checks are important prior to signing a contract of sale as the new owner becomes responsible for any non-compliance in regards to illegal structures built by previous owners. A new owner can be ordered to remove the illegal structure and also face a stiff penalty.
There are many situations where a building permit may be required. Generally any structural alteration to a building requires a building permit. Before commencing any alterations or improvements it is wise to check with the local council as to your obligations.
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