Read the Contract – part 3 of 3 

Summary of what we will learn in this webpage:

  • What to look out for in the Deposited Plan, Easements and Covenants documents
  • What to take note of in the Section 10.7 Planning Certificate
  • What is important in the Sewerage Service Diagram
  • Have an idea about the Sewer Mains Location Diagram

Step 3After reading the Special Conditions, next we look at diagrams of the Deposited Plan, scan read the Easements and Covenants documents that may come with the contract.

We look at the diagrams of the Deposited Plan because we want to confirm that the house we saw physically and that we are interested to buy is as what is drawn on the Deposited Plan, i.e. that the location of the house we saw is where we thought it is with respect to the nearby streets on the Deposited Plan. Also, we can see from the Deposited Plan the area of the land the house is on.

The legibility of the Easements and Covenants documents can be poor. Nevertheless, we can see whether driveways are shared, whether drain water pipes or electricity wires pass through the land etc. If they do, do we still want to buy this property?

Next, we read the Section 10.7 Planning Certificate, which will come as one of the documents attached to the Contract.

Sample s10.7 Planning Certificate – with highlights, as its name suggests, shows a sample s10.7 Planning Certificate, with highlights on what purchaser’s solicitors look for when reading it. (Note: On the first page of this sample planning certificate, [eg. xxxxx] has been substituted for real information. Here, we try to show what would appear after “eg.” with a description in “xxxxx”.)

The things to note in this s10.7 Planning Certificate are highlighted in the sample file, in particular:

1) what this land is zoned under (in this sample, it is zoned Zone R2 Low Density Residential),

2) what is permitted with and without consent,

3) are there minimum land dimensions for erection of a dwelling house,

4) is the land affected by road widening,

5) is the land subject to flooding,

6) is the land bush fire prone,

7) is there an Order under Trees,

8) is there any affected building notice or building product rectification notice.

Given these answers by the Council, do we still want to proceed with buying this property? The answers highlighted in this sample certificate are acceptable, so a purchaser considering buying this particular property should be able to go ahead.

Next, we look at the Sewerage Service Diagram. Below is an example of what it looks like.

Sewer Service Diagram

The important thing to note in a Sewerage Service Diagram is the bolder Boards Sewer line. As we can see in this sample diagram, this bolder Boards Sewer line runs outside of this lot (the lot we are interested to buy is the lot enclosed in the rectangle drawn in this diagram). In this diagram, the bolder Boards Sewer line runs outside the property, which is good. 

We see that a thinner sewer line runs from the bolder Boards Sewer line into this lot, and into the house. In this diagram, there are 5 water connections into the house. As a purchaser, check that these connections are what are seen when inspecting the house. If you see more water connections in the house than what is in this diagram, then it means that the owner of this house has done some water works in the house without informing nor getting consent from Sydney Water. At this stage, we can ask the owner for clarification.

If we see the bolder Boards Sewer line running inside this lot, then we would preferably like to see it running near the edge of this lot. This is because if Sydney Water needs to do maintenance or repair, it has a right to come and dig up this part of the lot to gain access!

Having looked at where the bolder Boards Sewer line runs, whether inside the lot or outside it, we can then carefully consider if we really want to buy this property.

Lastly, we look at the Sewer Mains Location Diagram. Sample file is Sample Sewer Mains Location Diagram. This diagram normally comes in colour, and it shows the sewer diagram with respect to the surrounding neighbourhood. The lot we are interested to purchase will normally be in a different colour to the Boards sewer lines.