A damages award of $1.127m has been set aside on a principle of law concerning duty of care after a purchaser relied on a Council issued defective town planning certificate that contained wrong zoning and real property description.

The circumstances and initial judgement are discussed in an earlier news alert:

The Appeal Court found that most of the arguments there were redundant because the Councils duty of care did not extend to the purchaser in this case simply because it did not request the defective certificate from Council, but rather acquired it from a third party, the vendor.

The Court also found that in the event that the Council did owe the purchaser a duty of care, a finding of 45% contributory negligent against the purchaser’s solicitors was applicable.

Notwithstanding the complex legalities, that are beyond the realms of our expertise, this case clearly illustrates the vital importance of thorough pre-purchase due diligence.

No valuation was undertaken prior to the purchase.  We can only speculate what difference that may have made to the outcome.

Ironically, it was a property Valuer who first raised the alarm on this whole issue when undertaking a subsequent assessment.

It reminds us of another matter we reported previously:

Central Highlands Regional Council v Geju Pty Ltd [2018] QCA 38

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