Buying without certification - bargain or brainless?

Hi gang.
This is my first post. :)

I am looking at buying my second investment property, in the Ipswich area (4304, 4305). An interesting property is on the market only a stone's throw away from the University, close to transport links, shops etc. Its on a 825m2 corner block on a quiet street.
It's a 5 bed, two storey house with adequate parking.
There are 3 beds, a bathroom and a kitchen upstairs; and 2 beds, a bathroom and kitchen downstairs.
There is a shared laundry. There is one water, and one electricity meter.
The current owner is a builder, and has just finished a fitout with new kitchens x2, bathrooms x2, new carpet, wall paint, window furnishings etc.
Looks like he's keen to move on, and interest so far has been patchy.

The agent tells me it could be rented out as two separate dwellings for $190x2=$380, or as a single unit for $330.

However I question this - Doesn't one need council approval for dual occupancy to rent something out as separate dwellings, even though it's within the same house? (The floor plan is over 65m2, easy)
Also, when pushed the agent was a bit sketchy on details regarding approval - can someone tell me, if this builder has added a kitchen and bathroom downstairs without council approval, isn't that illegal? Will it cost me a lot of money to have certified? Could I be fined if they find out?
And finally, what sort of building certification (standards certification) should I be asking the builder for in regards to his renovations, and would that come with any sort of warranty?

Obviously, I don't expect that any approval has been sought, although the agent eluded to there possibly being a building certificate for plumbing.
If this is the case, surely this is a serious bargaining chip?

If I did buy this property, would it be worthwhile getting council approval for dual occupancy, splitting the meters etc, or would anyone suggest a "fly by night" strategy as employed by the current owner?
The alternative would be to let it as a single unit.
Or better still, get 5x uni students in there. Thoughts on this one?
 
council/ certifier will not always retrospectivily approve illegal works especially if they donot comply with DCP no matter how much money you pay them so look into this and offer accordingly

typical inspections required - excavation pads footings, reo prior to pour concrete, stormwater sewer prior to backfill, termite protection, timber framing, fire ratings, waterproofing etc

certificates of compliance for above items + basix + certificate of structural adequacey etc etc.
 
...I don't expect that any approval has been sought, although the agent eluded to there possibly being a building certificate for plumbing.
If this is the case, surely this is a serious bargaining chip?

It's an opportunity worth investigating, but you'll need to spend money up front (before sale) to determine whether council approval is possible. Get a private certifier in to take a look.

If the council refuse to approve, they can order that the building be returned to a single occupancy -- ie the second kitchen be removed and possibly other works performed. This would be at the owner's expense.
 
Hi gang.
This is my first post. :)

However I question this - Doesn't one need council approval for dual occupancy to rent something out as separate dwellings, even though it's within the same house?
Firstly, welcome.

In answer to your question, I would assume, yes, council approval is needed. However, different councils seem to have different regulations so if I were you I would start by calling the council with your general plan for separate rentals and see what they say. You wouldn't need to give property addresses.

If you are uncomfortable with the 'fly by night' strategy, then you might find more peace of mind if you just rent it out as one property.
 
Consider risk: no builders warranty insurance, council order to reinstate, loss of rent, holding charges .....

Condition your offer so that you will require a certificate of occupancy and home warranty insurance (your builder may be shonky, heaven forbid).
 
Just ask the agent to ask the owner for the plans and certification paperwork. If its legal he will have them, if not, good luck with certifying if you can find one that will look at it. Be prepared to outlay a lot of cash or you could as part of the contract is the owner is to get the certification done before settlement etc etc.

Barganing chip will depend on how urgent the need to offload.

Brian
 
Hi gang.

However I question this - Doesn't one need council approval for dual occupancy to rent something out as separate dwellings, even though it's within the same house? (The floor plan is over 65m2, easy)
Also, when pushed the agent was a bit sketchy on details regarding approval - can someone tell me, if this builder has added a kitchen and bathroom downstairs without council approval, isn't that illegal? Will it cost me a lot of money to have certified? Could I be fined if they find out?
And finally, what sort of building certification (standards certification) should I be asking the builder for in regards to his renovations, and would that come with any sort of warranty?

Obviously, I don't expect that any approval has been sought, although the agent eluded to there possibly being a building certificate for plumbing.
If this is the case, surely this is a serious bargaining chip?

If I did buy this property, would it be worthwhile getting council approval for dual occupancy, splitting the meters etc, or would anyone suggest a "fly by night" strategy as employed by the current owner?
The alternative would be to let it as a single unit.
Or better still, get 5x uni students in there. Thoughts on this one?

Depending on what is involved - if there was an extension etc - you would need a permit but if it was add a bathroom to a laundry room or a slight move of a kitchen etc (they're merely comestic items.)

THe things you look for is the waterproofing certificate, plumbing certificate and electrical certificate. Some items do not require permits - i have remodelled a lot of kitchens before - and it does not require a permit.
 
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