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Beware of Property Encumbrances

A property with a magnificent view and good Feng Shui is typically an ideal home for all. We definitely want to have open water and greenery views in our surrounding environment, but just remember not to focus too much on these ideal qualities and end up ignoring the potential risks around your property, such as slopes and retaining walls. All these related maintenance fees can come from your own pocket if you don’t sort out who is going to pay for them.

Another thing to be aware is properties with rooftops. They may capture a wider view, but before you enjoy it, please make sure it is exclusively owned by you and not a common area shared by the owners within the building.

(1) Slopes and retaining walls

Before you make your home purchase decision, it is always advised to inspect the property thoroughly. If there are any slopes or retaining walls outside your property, you should ask your property agent for the person responsible for maintaining and repairing the structures. You may also go to the Civil Engineering and Development Department page for enquiry. Once there are related encumbrances on the property, it is important to state clearly who is responsible for the slopes or retaining wall maintenance in the sale and purchase agreement.



(2) Rooftops

Properties with rooftops not only offer outdoor space for drying clothes, planting, storing bicycles and barbecue parties, but they also have greater investment values. However, when it comes to buying this type of property, the agreement should clarify whether the rooftop is exclusively owned by you or if it’s a common area shared by the occupants of the building. The buyer can find out about the rooftop interest through land search records, deed of mutual covenant or just ask the property agent or lawyer for assistance. In addition, if the rooftop has been identified as unauthorized building works, the owner should remind buyers of the risks associated with buying such properties and state clearly in the agreement on the party responsible for the cost of demolition and restoration.

Date: 2014-06-23