When walking through the woods one day, Hans and Margaret see a beautiful old farm building, half of which is for sale. This is a chance of a lifetime and they decide that they will make their dream come true.
But Margaret and Hans should be careful!
They should make sure that the ground of the farmyard and the large orchard at the back of the house are not polluted and that there are no Asian long-horned beetles in the beams etc. While it is true that the seller has a duty to give the buyer all relevant information about the house, it never hurts to consult with the local council and find out if a soil examination is necessary. If this is the case, is does not take much time to have a report drawn up by an independent third party. And you would also need advice as to how the practical and legal implications of any pollution found can be solved between the parties.
And what about designated use? Houses are sometimes split up and renovated at the owner's initiative without the relevant residential permit having been issued. You should discuss this with your notary and make sure that this is properly investigated before you sign the purchase deed. The notary can then include a condition precedent in the purchase deed stating that the transaction can be revoked if such permit has not been granted. And before buying a house, check whether you are entitled to any government subsidies or grants, especially if this is a listed building.
Other things that can be checked via the notary are the land registry or the title of ownership and whether there are any special charges and restrictions, such as for example, rights of way or other servitudes.
Also if there is any reason to expect that the Building and Housing Inspectorate may demand that improvements must be made to the house, then the notary can have these included in the purchase deed so that such costs will be at the seller's expense. The notary will also check that the seller is actually authorised to sell the property and will also point out other relevant issues.
If all these questions can be answered positively, Hans and Margaret will not just buy their dream home, but will have a real thatch roof over their heads, just like in a fairy tale!
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