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Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Old Oct 17th 2006, 1:50 am
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Default Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Hi Everyone
I've been in the process of buying a house for the last 2 weeks and quite a few of you have helped me out with advice .. thankyou :-) . Well, I got a solicitor who to be honest doesn't seem to do anything but tell me what I already know so have ended up doing my own investigations. I asked them to look into an easement on the property and they came back with drawings showing that it ran 3m across along the entire length of the property. As there is an extension built I was a bit concerned that this may overlap onto the easement so asked solicitor who told me I would need a survey report (er isn't that usually part and parcel?)
I then went to see a surveyor who told me not to worry, easements are normal. The estate agents and seller were also telling me their was nothing to worry about and even brought me round the council approved plans.My feeling on this was yeah it was great the plans were approved but whos to say that the building works was done to exact spec if no one checked it after?!
After sitting on this for the weekend and the contract going unconditional 5pm yesterday It didn't feel right so I called the council (which I thought the solicitor wouldve done for $500!!) I got a really nice man on the phone who told me that the seller should have a surveyors certificate which would have been issued after the extension was built. I went to my solicitors with only 3 hours to go before the contract went unconditional and asked them to contact the seller and request if they had the certificate to send it to us, if not we would need an extension of a week and I would pay to get my own done. They came back and said they didn't have one and could only give me a 2 day extension! After much running around I managed to get a surveyor who could do it this morning. Last night I got a phone call from the estate agent telling me the sellers couldn't understand why I was paying $500 for a survey when they had spoken to the council and they would go round for free.They said to "save ME" the money they would arrange it instead. I declined and said not to worry, I would get it down independently. Well guess what? The extension is 0.4m into the easement! I have been treated like I am overreacting and troublesome by the seller and estate agent and the sense of satisfaction at being right is great! The feeling that they have all been trying to take me for a mug is even worse though!
I've now just had a call from the estate agent telling me it is all the councils fault and the seller was getting them to relax the size of the easement. Now heres the question folks, if you was me would you cut your losses and run (spent almost $2000 so far) or go ahead if they get the relaxation? I can't help but feel like they are taking advantage as I've only been here for 6 weeks, am on my own with my daughters and new to property purchase here. The house is great and I am getting it at a good price but come on, if you lived in a house for 8 years surely you would know that your extension was illegal?
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 2:00 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Originally Posted by kellyjs
Hi Everyone
I've been in the process of buying a house for the last 2 weeks and quite a few of you have helped me out with advice .. thankyou :-) . Well, I got a solicitor who to be honest doesn't seem to do anything but tell me what I already know so have ended up doing my own investigations. I asked them to look into an easement on the property and they came back with drawings showing that it ran 3m across along the entire length of the property. As there is an extension built I was a bit concerned that this may overlap onto the easement so asked solicitor who told me I would need a survey report (er isn't that usually part and parcel?)
I then went to see a surveyor who told me not to worry, easements are normal. The estate agents and seller were also telling me their was nothing to worry about and even brought me round the council approved plans.My feeling on this was yeah it was great the plans were approved but whos to say that the building works was done to exact spec if no one checked it after?!
After sitting on this for the weekend and the contract going unconditional 5pm yesterday It didn't feel right so I called the council (which I thought the solicitor wouldve done for $500!!) I got a really nice man on the phone who told me that the seller should have a surveyors certificate which would have been issued after the extension was built. I went to my solicitors with only 3 hours to go before the contract went unconditional and asked them to contact the seller and request if they had the certificate to send it to us, if not we would need an extension of a week and I would pay to get my own done. They came back and said they didn't have one and could only give me a 2 day extension! After much running around I managed to get a surveyor who could do it this morning. Last night I got a phone call from the estate agent telling me the sellers couldn't understand why I was paying $500 for a survey when they had spoken to the council and they would go round for free.They said to "save ME" the money they would arrange it instead. I declined and said not to worry, I would get it down independently. Well guess what? The extension is 0.4m into the easement! I have been treated like I am overreacting and troublesome by the seller and estate agent and the sense of satisfaction at being right is great! The feeling that they have all been trying to take me for a mug is even worse though!
I've now just had a call from the estate agent telling me it is all the councils fault and the seller was getting them to relax the size of the easement. Now heres the question folks, if you was me would you cut your losses and run (spent almost $2000 so far) or go ahead if they get the relaxation? I can't help but feel like they are taking advantage as I've only been here for 6 weeks, am on my own with my daughters and new to property purchase here. The house is great and I am getting it at a good price but come on, if you lived in a house for 8 years surely you would know that your extension was illegal?

Of course they knew it was illegal, but whos going to tell you, nobody wanting to make money out of you.

I could do you a book on the lies we were told during our recent marathon 15 month search for a piece of acerage close to the beach, we even had one lot of owners pretending to be DEAD to hide the real reason of sale for one property, RE agents fully backed the story

It totally depends on the type of easement if the council will relax it, go and discuss it with them, we had a easement on one property the owners said they could get relaxed, well that was wrong the block size would not allow it. Be very careful you could just be being fed more bullshi!. Unfortunatley your search money might be lost if you pull out of the property but that is all part of buying. Just be glad you found out now not later.
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 2:08 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Originally Posted by kellyjs
Hi Everyone <snip>
Depending upon just how much you want this property you could try saying that you're prepared to go ahead if they cover your costs in finding out that they were wrong... Just a thought...
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 2:08 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Originally Posted by jad n rich
Of course they knew it was illegal, but whos going to tell you, nobody wanting to make money out of you.

I could do you a book on the lies we were told during our recent marathon 15 month search for a piece of acerage close to the beach, we even had one lot of owners pretending to be DEAD to hide the real reason of sale for one property, RE agents fully backed the story

It totally depends on the type of easement if the council will relax it, go and discuss it with them, we had a easement on one property the owners said they could get relaxed, well that was wrong the block size would not allow it. Be very careful you could just be being fed more bullshi!. Unfortunatley your search money might be lost if you pull out of the property but that is all part of buying. Just be glad you found out now not later.

PRETENDING TO BE DEAD? OMG :scared: The estate agents come across as so nice don't they? Blimey my one selling me this house even offered to pick me and the girls up from our short term rental an hour away and drive is to our new rental (not got through their agency either!) with all our cases. I declined as I thought it was a bit above and beyond! Now I know they will do anythign to get that deal
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 2:20 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Originally Posted by kellyjs
PRETENDING TO BE DEAD? OMG :scared: The estate agents come across as so nice don't they? Blimey my one selling me this house even offered to pick me and the girls up from our short term rental an hour away and drive is to our new rental (not got through their agency either!) with all our cases. I declined as I thought it was a bit above and beyond! Now I know they will do anythign to get that deal

If you do continue with the purchase, find out HOW LONG it may take to get this relaxation, in the case where we were looking at a relaxation, even if it was possible it had to go through several months !! and several council meetings, applications, amendments and even then was no guarantee it would be approved and that was nothing illegal, just something we were not happy to accept.

As for the agents, the snakey old cow how sold us our current property, saw her in town the other day, she didnt even acknowledge us, funny how the smarm and butt kissin wore off once she got the sale.
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 3:50 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Originally Posted by kellyjs
if you lived in a house for 8 years surely you would know that your extension was illegal?
Enough said !

Quit while your ahead, there will be other houses !

What will happen when you come to sell ?

Go have a and move on to the next house, when we come over in January i will be in no rush to buy/build.

Ian
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 5:27 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

YE I'm going to take Jad n Rich's advice and see how long they reckon it will take to get a relaxation, If it IS TRUE and the council messed up then they will get it by tomm. If not (which I think we all know is the case...) then they won't. I won;t be buying a house on the HOPE that the easement gets made smaller!
I am giving them until the extension deadline though and see what they say AND then I will probs pull out, sit back and concentrate on enjoying being here! Since I got here its been non stop!
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 5:52 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Originally Posted by kellyjs
YE I'm going to take Jad n Rich's advice and see how long they reckon it will take to get a relaxation, If it IS TRUE and the council messed up then they will get it by tomm. If not (which I think we all know is the case...) then they won't. I won;t be buying a house on the HOPE that the easement gets made smaller!
I am giving them until the extension deadline though and see what they say AND then I will probs pull out, sit back and concentrate on enjoying being here! Since I got here its been non stop!
Hi Kelly,

Hate to be the bearer of bad news but it took us almost 6 months to get our easement moved, most of that time was spent waiting for the council guy to tell us how to do it!

Our easement is just so that the binmen can turn around, but if yours is to gain access to pipes underneath, then how can it be moved or made smaller? If the pipes need to be dug up then they may need to dig under the extension. Of course, they may never need access, but do you love the house enough to take the risk?

Jane
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 6:08 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Hi Jane
Thanks for that. I know what your saying, the council will never get it sorted in time but as the estate agent reckons they can I thought it only fair that I give them until the deadline
The easement is for drainage and sewage so yes it is a biggy really! Balls to it all I reckon but god the estate agent is still hanging on for dear life to get this sale! I certainly don't love the house enough ..who would unless they had a screw loose?
It may sound stupid but I'm more deflated about the lack of morality shown by the estate agents and the seller. Call me niave but I am always honest to people, even when I sold my house! I need to toguhen up I reckon :-(

Originally Posted by JaneandJim
Hi Kelly,

Hate to be the bearer of bad news but it took us almost 6 months to get our easement moved, most of that time was spent waiting for the council guy to tell us how to do it!

Our easement is just so that the binmen can turn around, but if yours is to gain access to pipes underneath, then how can it be moved or made smaller? If the pipes need to be dug up then they may need to dig under the extension. Of course, they may never need access, but do you love the house enough to take the risk?

Jane
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 6:27 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Originally Posted by kellyjs
It may sound stupid but I'm more deflated about the lack of morality shown by the estate agents and the seller. Call me niave but I am always honest to people, even when I sold my house! I need to toguhen up I reckon :-(
I know exactly what you mean, I'm the same. Just think of it as a lesson learnt so that you can take away something positive from the experience.

I would always rather see the good in people and then be let down rather than thinking that everyone was out to shaft me all the time. That would be a very dark place to be. Saying that, I never never never trust an estate agent. We're also trying to buy and are fortunately sufficiently clued up now, but they still try it on.

Things have a habit of working out in the end. You'll get your ideal house.

Jane
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 6:36 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Originally Posted by kellyjs
Hi Jane
Thanks for that. I know what your saying, the council will never get it sorted in time but as the estate agent reckons they can I thought it only fair that I give them until the deadline
The easement is for drainage and sewage so yes it is a biggy really! Balls to it all I reckon but god the estate agent is still hanging on for dear life to get this sale! I certainly don't love the house enough ..who would unless they had a screw loose?
It may sound stupid but I'm more deflated about the lack of morality shown by the estate agents and the seller. Call me niave but I am always honest to people, even when I sold my house! I need to toguhen up I reckon :-(

If its drainage and sewage I would hazard a guess they are not going to let you near it, over here we've had blocks where the gutters let alone the footings have to be 3M from the easement, let alone on it. Massive pipes full of you know what are flowing under that easement, having seen one break on a site you probably would not want to be on top of it anyway :scared: Council will always need access to it.

But your in a different state, so take all your paperwork, go to planning at the council and form your own opinion of what the process will be.
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 6:41 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Originally Posted by jad n rich

But your in a different state, so take all your paperwork, go to planning at the council and form your own opinion of what the process will be.
Have you moved out of Queensland, then?
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 6:46 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Originally Posted by JaneandJim
Have you moved out of Queensland, then?

No dont mind me, same state, carry on, reading too many threads at once thats all.

As you were
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 9:13 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Well done on your investigations!

AS already mentioned by others, I would be surprised if Council gave a relaxation on the easement as WHS requirements now make it harder to dig a trench so the width of the easement will be required. It is not uncommon for older houses to slightly disregard the planning requirements (& building regs)of the day.

The time period will be against your contract for RSC to sort it out.

Pull out of the contract (watch the counter offers fly!) and forget it. If you buy you may have the same problems when you sell.

Gut instinct has a lot going for it.

Good luck with it

WW
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Easements\Estate agents\Buying a house Words of warning!

Thanks Jane I don't want to change and become a hard and bitter old cow..lol....and I thought London was hard..at least you see the people as they mug you unlike here where they do it with a smile and an estate agents licence....the more I think about what my agent said and how its changed along the way..is it be legal how much they lie? and can they sleep at night? As it happens I don't know how long it will be before I consider another house again! but ye its a good grounding experience that Oz is just like anywhere else and its taken off my rose tinted glasses ..xx
Originally Posted by JaneandJim
I know exactly what you mean, I'm the same. Just think of it as a lesson learnt so that you can take away something positive from the experience.

I would always rather see the good in people and then be let down rather than thinking that everyone was out to shaft me all the time. That would be a very dark place to be. Saying that, I never never never trust an estate agent. We're also trying to buy and are fortunately sufficiently clued up now, but they still try it on.

Things have a habit of working out in the end. You'll get your ideal house.

Jane
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