• John Stirk

THE LEMON HOUSE

For 20 years, readers of the Centralian Advocate looked forward to the Friday edition. Therin Povey Stirk Lawyers published a 300 word tale of fiction based on legally newsworthy events.

The following is a sample of these blogs


24 February 2012


Fred had always been a cautious man. When Barney told him that he would sell him a very cheap house, he thought there might be a catch. His dad had always told him that if a deal was too good to be true there was always a catch.

The house had been built 20 years ago by Barney’s family. Barney was one of a long tradition of home handymen.


Fred met with his lawyer and said that he had saved enough money to purchase the house. However, the lawyer said that it would be prudent to have a building certifier check that all necessary certificates had been obtained during the construction of the house. The lawyer said that unless there were certificates in place, the Building Act made it an offence for anyone to live in the house.


Fred was a little concerned. He thought he might be purchasing a lemon if he was unable to either live in the house or rent it out. Fred employed a building certifier who told him that a search of the files held by the NT Government revealed that there had never been a building permit lodged nor plans. The inspections that were required under the Building Act had simply never occurred.


Fred confronted Barney about the problem. Barney simply told him that he could sort those matters out later and the house was a steal. Fred’s lawyer told him that while there was some prospect of obtaining all the necessary certificates, it would not be a guaranteed outcome and there was a prospect that the house might never obtain its certification.

Fred decided he did not want to inherit Barney’s problem. Fred decided that consulting his lawyer was an investment well made. Barney has made an appointment with a building certifier.

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Disclaimer: This document provides general information and is not legal advice. While we endeavour to ensure the information is correct at the date of publication, laws frequently change. If anything in this post is relevant to you, please contact us for advice on your specific situation