‘Caveat Emptor’ & Pre-Purchase Inspections

The Latin concept of “Caveat Emptor” is commonly used in the context of legal property transfers and translates to “Buyer Beware”.

Buyer Beware

Under general law, a Seller of land is under no obligation to disclose to a Buyer any defects in the property or Title other than latent defects in Title. Latent defects in Title are undisclosed interests of third parties in the land which are not discoverable on reasonable investigation of the land or of the Title.

Pre-Purchase Inspections & Reports

Contracts for the Sale of Land, therefore, do not cover a Buyer for defects in the structures on the land or discoverable defects in Title. As a result, the onus is on a Buyer to ensure that they have fully investigated the structures on the land and the Title prior to signing a Contract as the subsequent discovery of any such defects will not give a Buyer a right to rescind a Contract or any claim for compensation.

For more information see Step 8 of The Ultimate Conveyancing Guide.

The Ultimate Conveyancing Guide

The Ultimate Conveyancing Guide is a comprehensive step-by-step guide to buying residential property in New South Wales.

The aim of this Guide is to assist buyers to more fully prepare themselves to buy residential property and understand the legal issues and procedures involved. Read more…

By Rebecca Wosman,
Associate Solicitor