An off-the plan contract is a contract for the sale of land or a strata title unit or townhouse that has not been issued with a separate title on the date that the contract is entered into. It is important to have an experienced Property lawyer handling these contracts from the outset to make sure that all maters are properly documented. Quinn & Scattini have many years of experience in dealing with off-the-plan property transactions in Queensland.
There are serious pitfalls to be aware of when purchasing off-the-plan. These include complying with the strict disclosure requirements under legislation including the Land Sales Act and the Body Corporate and Community Management Act. Failure to comply with these requirements as a seller will mean that the buyer may have a right to terminate the contract.
For example, in 2005, a Queensland Court decision highlighted the risks of selling off-the-plan without due care to detail. The decision of Justice White on 19th August 2005 pointed out the risks under the disclosure regime for Off-the-Plan sales in Queensland. The Court allowed the contract to be terminated on the basis that requirements for the Form 14 Information Sheet under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (Qld) had not been met, and the buyer was materially prejudiced by the fact that the original disclosure statement did not make known that buyers had to purchase a furniture package to participate in the letting pool. The result was extra costs and time delays for the developer and a disappointing ordeal for the buyer. These types of oversights can be avoided.
The other disadvantage for a buyer (particularly of a unit or townhouse) is buying the property unseen. Matters such as the payment of a deposit, negotiating a schedule of finishes, checking provisions, examining the sunset clause, dealing with insurance and checking arrangements for pre-purchase inspections require an experienced eye.
Of course, there are also advantages to buying off-the-plan. From a seller's perspective, the seller can secure pre-sales, which may be a pre-requisite of a seller's bank. From a buyer's perspective, the buyer may be able to secure a new property and possibly enjoy a "profit" in a rising market.
Quinn & Scattini provides guidance for buyers and developers, ensuring a seamless process and a win-win outcome for all involved. We handle contract preparation, disclosures, and community title schemes with professional care and attention to detail, taking the worry out of off-the plan transactions and avoiding unnecessary court proceedings.
Avoid problems, consult our experienced Property Law Team in the first instance before the difficulties arise!
If you would like to find out how Quinn & Scattini can help you, please call us on 1800 999 LAW (1800 999 529), or email us at email@example.com