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My Driveway Dilemma - Delaying settlement

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by SK Investments, 10th Oct, 2015.

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  1. SK Investments

    SK Investments Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    174
    Location:
    Wherever the wind takes me, currently Brisbane
    Hi fellow PC'ers,

    I thought I'd share about a problem I've been dealing with involving the construction of a driveway prior to sale. (It's more like a short story!)

    I have been organising the sale of a property in NSW for a family member. An offer was accepted but, before contracts exchanged I discovered that the final certificate of occupancy hadn't been issued as the driveway wasn't completed.

    The council certifier informed me that he wanted the complete driveway completed (4.8m wide x 12m long). With a bit of prodding as to the actual requirements he then told me that just the crossover had to be done to pass the final, but he still wanted the 4.8m width (same as garage opening width). This didn't sit right with me as I was almost 100% sure that most councils require a narrow crossover that then widens up after the front boundary.

    After a call to the council engineers I discovered that the crossover requirements are min of 3m to 4m max. Now I thought we were right to go, I had council on board, discussed price and time frame with the concreter, agreed to wear the cost of the crossover to get the sale over the line, and exchanged contracts.

    Now this is the frustrating part.

    I had asked the selling agent to inform the purchasers of the requirement for the driveway crossover, and gave them a time frame to reply should they like to have the complete driveway done at their cost (less the amount that I had to do anyway). With no reply I informed the concreter to proceed.

    At the last minute the purchasers (who happen to be neighbours with the concreter) decide that they would like to have the full driveway done, but not plain, they want coloured with some other fancy bits (They are buying as an IP mind you).

    The concreter however didn't have time to do the full driveway prior to settlement, so I extended it by 3 weeks. He has now had to push back at least another 2 weeks, and the purchasers haven't even confirmed with him exactly what they want. So I will now have to delay again.

    The solicitor inserted a clause into the contract, basically saying that we won't settle until the Cert of Occ has been issued, unfortunately it has an out for the purchaser after X days, but no out for the vendor. As far as I can tell settlement can continue to be delayed by the driveway with the only other option being to get someone else to just do the crossover so settlement can proceed.

    Happy days!

    S.K
     
  2. BennEznElle

    BennEznElle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    83
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Would you not be better to get the crossover done so that the Certficate of Occupancy can be issued and then the rest oft eh driveway can be done in the purchasers own time? At least that way you can settle.

    What happens if you proceed with getting the full driveway done per the purchasers request and then they cancel the contract using the clause re the timing of the issuing of the certificate?
     
  3. SK Investments

    SK Investments Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    174
    Location:
    Wherever the wind takes me, currently Brisbane
    Hi @BennEznElle,

    I had the concreter call me today, definitely won't have the whole thing done. Has agreed to do the crossover only. I also have another concreter as a backup but will be twice the price so unlikely to go that way.

    Technically the complete driveway is an arrangement between the purchaser and the concreter, so they are being invoiced, so if they cancel they are still liable.