Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Why Illegal Building Will Catch Up with You; 29% of Home Buyers Caught in Illegal Building Trap

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Why Illegal Building Will Catch Up with You; 29% of Home Buyers Caught in Illegal Building Trap

Article excerpt

THE vast majority of home buyers have no knowledge of their legal liabilities or the financial implications of purchasing a home with illegal building, Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Australia Institute of Architects warned this week.

According to Archicentre statistics 29% of Australian homes inspected by Archicentre Architects have some form of illegal building.

Ian Agnew, Archicentre State Manager Queensland, said in extreme cases home buyers could be forced to pull down or rectify illegal structures and become legally liable for any injuries caused to visitors or tradespeople who suffered injury as a result of the illegal building.

C[pounds sterling]Most dangerous situations are where people have undertaken illegal wiring, plumbing, structural changes or the construction of balconies and decks on the property.

C[pounds sterling]However, people contemplating undertaking illegal building should be aware, one way or the other, it will catch up with them.C[yen]

Mr Agnew (pictured) said that the harsh reality of the impact of illegal building comes home when people go to sell their homes and find that purchasers are requesting the appropriate paperwork including building permits, and documentation from licensed plumbers and electricians certifying work that has been carried out.

C[pounds sterling]The bottomline is that if the documentation cannot be produced then it becomes highly likely that buyers will not want to inherit the legal or safety risk.

C[pounds sterling]Even if the home is sold to an unsuspecting buyer with illegal wiring or illegal plumbing, an accident caused as a result of the unregistered and illegal work could place the buyer in court facing huge legal damages.C[yen]

Mr Agnew said that the illegal building, which can cost the home owner thousand of dollars, is a false economy as in the long run it can devalue the home and make it difficult to sell.

C[pounds sterling]If there is an accident at the home such as a balcony collapse, or a death by electrocution, investigations by authorities will ultimately turn up if the building work does not have the appropriate certification. …

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