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Prior to entering into a contract, prudent purchasers of residential property will undertake all enquiries of the property necessary to satisfy themselves in relation to the purchase.

Generally speaking, after a purchaser enters into a standard contract for the purchase of property in Victoria or New South Wales, they will have no recourse if they discover, for example, a building defect or pest infestation.

At a minimum, prospective purchasers should consider the following enquiries prior to contract:

Pest Inspections

A pest inspection by a suitably qualified professional will determine the pest activity, if any, in the property. For example, termites may be causing internal damage to the structure of the house or other buildings.

Building Inspections

A building inspection by a suitably qualified professional will provide an insight into the structural integrity of the buildings on the property.


A survey of the property will identify the legal boundaries of the property and the location of any easements. A survey might also reveal that buildings on the property are encroaching on neighbouring land or vice versa.

Building Certificates

A building certificate provides comfort to a purchaser that, in the next seven years, the Local Council will not make any orders directed at the owner of the property to undertake building works such as repairs, demolition or alterations. When a building certificate is issued by the Local Council, the purchaser can be assured that the building assets on the property are safe, in good repair and have the appropriate council approvals.

For further advice in relation to conveyancing, or any property law matter, do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Burt & Hanke Legal who service the Albury and Wodonga Region.