When Does My Off The Plan Property Settle?
Depending on the period of construction and the date of your purchase, there can be anywhere from weeks to years to wait for the settlement of an ‘Off the Plan’ property.
Last week we had a client call who had signed a contract in 2017 and was still waiting for her property to settle. She was getting anxious because it was taking so long. What you need to remember is that not only are they building all the other apartments in the development at the same time but there are so many little pieces that need to fall into place before the property will be ready to settle.
WHAT TRIGGERS SETTLEMENT FOR AN ‘OFF THE PLAN’ PROPERTY?
Legally speaking, settlement for an off the plan property is triggered according to the ‘settlement’ or ‘settlement date’ section of the particulars in the Contract of Sale. This is typically
“within fourteen (14) days of the Vendors solicitors giving written notification of registration of the proposed Plan of Subdivision by the Registrar;” or
“within fourteen (14) days of the Vendors Solicitors giving written notification of the issuing of the Occupancy Permit”
To break it down that means that when either of the above are triggered, the Vendor will send your lawyer an email or a letter letting them know that settlement is to be held in 14 days. Everything moves very quickly from this point forward.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING YOUR FINANCE READY
It is common that your financial situation will have changed between the signing of the Contract of Sale and the settlement date, especially if these two dates are years apart. You should be in contact with your lawyer as early as possible if you think that you may have trouble financing the purchase of the property.
We take an in depth at what happened to a client faced with this situation in this article. Click here to read more.
THE SETTLEMENT PERIOD ISN’T THE TIME TO APPLY FOR FINANCE
To be clear, the 14 day settlement window for an off the plan property IS NOT the time to re-apply for your finance. This process takes weeks from application to approval and should be started a couple of months before settlement is due. A good lawyer will keep you updated so you can time these events to occur as smoothly as possible.
As we have discussed in previous articles, the most important thing with a good conveyancing lawyer is communication. To read more about what to look for when choosing a lawyer click here.