Buyers: Know your boundaries

With new housing development and the sale of stands in gated communities starting to pick up again, buyers must make sure they have accurate information regarding boundaries, beacons and stand numbers.
So says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, who notes that most property sale agreements contain a clause saying that the buyer has familiarised himself with the location and extent of the land he is buying – but that very few buyers do in fact really “walk the boundaries” before they sign.
“And while that may not be a problem when the stand they are buying is in an established suburb and visibly defined by the boundary walls or fences around other properties, it could turn into a major headache in a new estate or township.”
When such developments are launched, he says, the developers or their agents usually do erect clear stand markers, but as time goes on, these may well be moved or lost as a result of construction work, which will leave the site plan as the only indication of where stands lie and their boundaries fall.
“At which stage it is often all too easy to mistake one piece of vacant land for the one next door, or to visualise a stand being bigger than it really is, or to write the wrong stand number on a sale agreement.”
Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter Everitt notes that no reputable estate agent would, however, try to sell land under such conditions, and that consumers who don’t want to end up owning the “wrong” stand should not buy in such circumstances either.
“They should insist that the seller enables them to see clearly what they are buying – even if it means calling in a surveyor to erect new beacons.”

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