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Things to think about when building or buying off the plan

A lot of people enter into building contracts without obtaining professional legal advice. However, the property market and building and development industry is currently experiencing a boom which has not been seen in years and there are issues arising for those building.

For one, the ‘Building Period’, being the time the builder has to complete the house in, is being extended by the builder quite frequently, which sometimes can be months. 

When the builder does not complete the house on time (within the Building Period), you may be entitled to late completion damages if the delay is not a cause beyond the builder’s control. 

Depending on your situation and contract, late completion damages could be anywhere between $50 to $150 per day however some contracts provide as little as $15 per day.  

The purpose of late completion damages is to cover any potential costs you may accrue as a result of the delays in the completion of your house.  This could include such things as additional rental, storage fees, costs associated with delays in delivery of furniture or personal belongings. 

Also, in situations where people are entering into a building contract, where the land they will be purchasing has not registered yet as it is being purchased off the plan, there is often a time period in which owners have to provide all documents to the builder to allow the builder to commence construction. If settlement of the land purchase is delayed for whatever reason, the builder may be entitled to charge you a fee which many are unaware of.

You should not feel pressured into signing any contract and you are entitled to seek legal advice before signing which we can assist you.  It is important to know your rights and obligations under the contract as once signed, there is little that can be done if you are wanting to make changes if and when any issues arise.

The team at Marino Lawyers in Cairns will be happy to assist with the process of buying or building a home off the plan, or if you have experienced any problems with yours. Contact us today to discuss how we can help.