How to Be Certain of Your Purchase Before You Buy a Riverfront Property

Law Blog

If you really like the concept of owning the ultimate room with a view, then this may have been towards the top of your priority list when out shopping for your new home. You may not have been interested in buying a terraced property that sits in the middle of a heavily built-up area but have stood your ground and have now found a property that borders a river or other publicly owned land. This is certainly what you're looking for, but in order for you to proceed towards a purchase, you've got to be sure about what you're buying. In particular, do you know where your property boundary is and is it clearly defined?

Poring Over the Paperwork

Your local government authority will maintain a register that defines the legal boundaries of every piece of freehold land in your state or territory. This will help you to determine the extent of your legal ownership whenever you buy a parcel of land, and typically, the information will include detailed drawings and dimensions that are meant to ensure accuracy.

How Natural Boundaries Are Defined

However, these land boundaries can sometimes be difficult to ascertain. They may be determined by natural elements such as a hedge or a fence or (as in your case) by a river. Sometimes, the boundaries are not quite as easy to define as they may change slightly as time passes by. Tidal influences or weather conditions can have a bearing on the definition of a natural river-based boundary, and these conditions may combine to present some uncertainty.

Muddy Waters Ahead?

Your property will likely adjoin a similar property, which may also have a boundary against the river. It's possible that natural forces have redefined the exact position of not just your boundary but your neighbours as well, and one way or the other, you've got to make sure. Even though you may think that this is your dream property, you don't want to encounter any problems in the future that cast doubt on its legality.

Engage Your Conveyancer

Before you proceed, never assume anything. Get a conveyancer like Mark Shenken to include a clause within your contract that relates to the nature of the boundary. If necessary, get them to bring in a property surveyor to try and bring the records up-to-date. Either way, always ensure that the property is subject to a clear boundary definition before you buy it.


4 January 2019

Learning about the law

I love watching legal dramas from all different countries. I often call up my friend who is a lawyer to ask her about whether the cases I have seen on the latest drama are realistic or if they wouldn't happen that way in Australia. It's so interesting to me to see the changes that they make to make the stories flow more convincingly as well as the differences between the law in Australian compared to other countries. This blog is for other fans of legal dramas like me and has some tips on the best places to get real legal advice (hint, it's not on the TV!).