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Do you know what your purchaser precedent letter says? When was the last time you thoroughly read and thought about your purchaser precedent letter?

In a recent claim the purchaser clients discovered five years after they settled on their property that part of their house extended beyond the boundary of the land onto the road reserve.

When asked if he gave the clients advice about check measuring the boundaries the practitioner’s initial response was he thought he had told them and it would have been in his first letter to the clients. When we found the file the letter of advice made no mention of check measuring and neither did any of the file notes from both the practitioner and the clerk. His precedent letter may have had the right information in it at some stage but the version these clients received did not.

The problem with this property was obvious when looking closely. The shape of the property shown on the real estate agent’s website via a google search was not the same as the shape of the property shown in the title search or a search on the Victorian government LASSI website. Just comparing these two things would have alerted the practitioner to a problem with this property.

To avoid these simple but expensive mistakes:

  • review your precedent letters regularly to make sure it covers everything you think it should
  • tell your clients to check boundary measurements and keep good file notes of the discussion
  • google the property and look to see if there is anything that does not match up with the documentation you have.