Stewart Title Logo Recent Purchaser Claims

Following settlement, our insured received a letter from lawyers acting for the local Council advising that a condition of the planning permit issued for the subdivision development had been unsatisfied. Council required that the insured sign a Section 173 Agreement concerning compliance with a Statement of Environmental Audit and arrange for the Agreement to be registered on title at the insured’s cost.

The Agreement should have been registered prior to the issuing of the Occupation Certificate but was overlooked by Council.

The Resolution – Duty to Defend

Stewart Title engaged lawyers on behalf of the insured to negotiate the terms of the Section 173 Agreement and arrange for mortgagees consent and registration. Stewart Title covered all of the legal costs and associated costs in registering the Section 173 Agreement.


Following settlement of the purchase of a home in suburban Sydney , our insured noticed some building irregularities with the pergola on their property. The insured applied for a building certificate from the local Council.

Following the Council inspection, the insured was advised by Council that approval for the pergola had not been obtained by the previous owner and no final inspections had been carried out in respect of a carport and tool shed also located on the property. The Council ordered that the illegal structures be demolished.

The Resolution

Stewart Title paid for the demolition and reconstruction of the pergola, carport and tool shed.

Stewart Title handled all correspondence with Council and arranged final inspections in respect of the new structures.


Following settlement, our insured received a letter from their local Council advising that Council proposed to issue an Order for the demolition of the garage situated on the insured property which had been constructed by the previous owners without obtaining appropriate Council approvals.

The insured advised Council that they wished to retain the garage. Council subsequently inspected the garage and following that inspection, notified the insured that they were required to obtain various expert reports and submit them to Council with an Application for a Building Certificate. Council carried out further inspection of the garage and required that certain works be undertaken so it complied.

The Resolution

Stewart Title covered the cost of the expert reports, Application for a Building Certificate and costs associated with rectification works.

Stewart Title also liaised directly with Council on behalf of the insured and arranged time extensions for compliance with notices.


Our insured entered into a contract to purchase a residential property in rural NSW. The property described in the contract comprised a small fibro cottage on three adjoining titles.

Following settlement, the insured became aware that the house and lots that they had been occupying were actually owned by someone else and that the lots they had in fact purchased were vacant land. As a result the insured were forced to vacate the residence and find alternative rental accommodation.

The insured were not aware of this error at the time of settlement.

The Resolution

The insured retained the vacant land which they had in fact purchased and received compensation from Stewart Title which represented:

  • the difference between the value of the residence and the three vacant lots;
  • legal fees associated with the purchase of a new home;
  • stamp duty associated with the purchase of a new home;
  • reimbursement of rental for alternative accommodation whilst the claim was being resolved.


    Following settlement, the insured received notification from Council that there were outstanding water/sewerage rates in relation to the insured property. An error had been made by the Council with respect to the amount of rates payable as at the date of settlement.

    The Resolution

    Stewart Title paid the outstanding rates plus interest that had accrued thereon.

    Stewart reserved its rights to take subsequent action to recover the outstanding rates from Council.


    The insured received correspondence from a government authority alleging that a large portion of the back yard was in fact owned by the government authority and that the insured was trespassing. The government authority demanded the insured remove all structures placed on the disputed land and relocate the fence to the original title boundary.

    The Resolution

    Following our investigation of the matter, Stewart Title accepted liability for the claim and in accordance with the defence of title provisions engaged lawyers to defend the insured’s title on the basis that the insured acquired a right to adverse possession of the land pursuant to the relevant State legislation.

    The Stewart Title Residential Purchaser Policy covers all legal costs and expenses in relation to the adverse possession proceedings.


    The insured purchased a property in rural NSW. The septic system which serviced the property was almost wholly located on the adjoining property. This was unknown to the insured at the time of their purchase.

    Some time after the insured took possession of the property, the neighbour discovered the encroaching septic system and promptly disconnected it.

    Problems surfaced almost immediately and we were contacted by the conveyancer who had ordered the policy on behalf of their client.

    The Resolution

    Stewart Title paid for a survey of the property to ascertain its legal boundaries and paid for the installation of a new septic system.


    Following settlement the insured received a letter from the local Council advising that the septic system had not been installed in accordance with Council’s approval and requiring certain works to be completed in order to make the septic system comply with Council’s requirements.

    The previous owner had been notified of the non compliant septic system however failed to disclose this matter in the Contract for Sale of Land. As a result the insured was not aware of the fact that the septic system had not been installed in accordance with Council’s approval at the time of settlement.

    The Resolution

    Upon being notified of the claim Stewart Title contacted Council and requested an extension of time on behalf of the insured to complete the works.

    Stewart Title has since accepted liability for this claim and the works required by Council are currently being attended to. Upon completion of the works Stewart Title will pay for the cost of the works carried out to the septic system.