Home » Buyer Beware: Have you purchased a property with defects?
Written by: Eloise Turnbull, Litigation Solicitor & Carmen Sauvage, Law Clerk

If you’ve just purchased a property and are only now seeing defects or problems that weren’t visible during prior inspections, we may be able to help you here at Greenhalgh Pickard.

Buying a property should be an exciting milestone for anyone. For some it is the first property they have purchased and for others they are adding to their property portfolio. Irrespective, people do not go into purchasing a property expecting for the property to be riddled with hidden defects.


Buyer Beware!

The Latin phrase “caveat emptor” simply means “Let the Buyer Beware”. If you are purchasing a property, you ought to undertake all necessary searches to ensure the property is free from defects or problems (latent defects) and this due diligence rests with you.

Despite this, there are legal requirements for sellers to disclose some defects.

The exception to caveat emptor is if the seller misleads or defrauds the purchaser by concealing a defect or misrepresenting the condition of the property, the purchaser may have recourse.


What is a Latent Defect?

“Latent Defects” in relation to a property are considered as both defects or problems that cannot reasonably be observed when a property is inspected. This is in relation to the property in a physical sense as well as in relation to the title of the land to be purchased.

Latent defects can lead to additional works being undertaken on a property to rectify the defect or problem. Examples of this may be water damage, concealed termite infestation or issues with the property’s electrics.


What to do?

If you have purchased a property and have encountered defects or problems with the property that may fall in the exception, Greenhalgh Pickard’s integrated team of litigation and property law professionals can provide advice.

Call our office today on 07 5444 1022.


The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of a professional. This information does not consider your personal circumstances and may not reflect the most current legal developments. Should you need advice, please contact our firm for targeted information relating to personal your situation.