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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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I bought a house that was in building last year. The seller

Customer Question

I bought a house that was in building last year. The seller wanted to settle the house on 24 Dec 2015 but I was on holidays overseas, so we agreed to settle the house on 18 Jan 2016 with a penalty fine. Anyway, on the afternoon of settlement there were a lot of touch ups that needed to be done in the new house such as paint, cracks etc. Additionally, the seller brought the wrong set of garage remote controls. I was suppose to get 3 sets of keys but I only got 2 because he needed the other key to unlock the door for painters and touch up guys to access the house. And it's 17 Feb 2016, I still haven't heard from them or received the collect remote controls. Could I request the fine back because they haven't "finished" what they were suppose to do on the house before 18 Jan 2016??
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  kmslaw replied 9 months ago.

Hi my name is***** am a solicitor in NSW who will help with your inquiry today. I am also admitted in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

I suspect the answer to your question is "no" because the penalty fine that would have been payable for settling on the property late would have been a late settlement fee/interest, not a fee that the builder pays for problems with finishing the house in time. But I could be wrong. I would need to verify by looking at the Contract for Sale of Land and/or the builders contract. Just not sure whether you have two contracts, one with the owner of the land and one with the builder or is it done as a package in the one contract where the landowner contracts with you as to building work? You would need to confirm this and attach the contracts so that I can see what was agreed. Can you do that? It may be that while you cannot claim back the penalty fine there are other remedies in the contract(s) that you can take advantage of.

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