How to spot a dodgy reno job when purchasing Brisbane property

Purchasing Brisbane property has never been easier. We have fast internet, high resolution videos and images, and agents at our beck and call via mobile. With the success of renovation shows like The Block and House Rules we’ve observed that a lot of listings around Brisbane are showing recently renovated properties.  Some of these renovations are done by professional trades, while others are DIY jobs done by owners. Regardless of the renovators, it’s important to ensure that you’re purchasing a well-built and compliant property. Here’s what to look out for to avoid purchasing a shoddily renovated property.

(1) Council Approval – a must when purchasing Brisbane property

A good renovation will always come with Council approval. This can include certification, approvals, and permits. For Brisbane, this means seeking building approval from the Brisbane City Council. There are regulations that must be followed to ensure that any renovation gets approved upon completion. And don’t just take the real estate agent or seller’s word for it. Ask to see the completed Certificates, permits and/or approvals. A good property conveyancer can tell you what you should ask for.


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(2) Common Mistakes – beware of these when purchasing Brisbane property

Some of the most common renovations that are done by Brisbane home owners without proper approvals are a Granny Flat, pergolas with a solid roof or that are attached to the home, and building in underneath a highset home. These are very popular renovations but are rarely done correctly. For example, for a room to be called a bedroom certain requirements must be met including the height from floor to ceiling.

purchasing brisbane property
(3) Insurance – when purchasing Brisbane property beware of what renos may invalidate insurance

Renovations done without Council approval can invalidate a homeowners policy if their house is damaged by fire, flood, cyclone or any other major impact. This applies even if you bought the house after it was renovated.

What to do if there’s an issue during the process of purchasing Brisbane property?

If the worst happens and a buyer discovers dodgy renovations without the required council approvals and the agent/seller did not disclose these, the buyer can invalidate the contract of sale. Caveat emptor (buyer beware) does not combat misrepresentation. Buyers may have legal recourse against the agent and/or seller if both parties conspired to misrepresent the home when advertising it for sale.

The renovation may look great but it’s not worth purchasing Brisbane property that has been renovated and not certified. Always remember to ask questions and make sure to request and retain copies of all certificates, approvals and permits for the property.

Blocksidge Real Estate is an REIQ Accredited Real Estate Agency

This means that we are bound by the highest ethical and moral standards for our industry. For example, an REIQ Agent has an obligation to inform our sellers that they are unable to advertise a property as having extra bedrooms or a granny flat if there are no permits for these renovations.

If you’d like to speak to one of our Agents our contact details are:

– Residential Property Management (07) 3233 3988

– Residential Sales (07) 3233 3908

– Commercial Sales, Leasing & Management (07) 3233 3966


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How to spot a dodgy reno job when purchasing Brisbane property