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Case study: The new home owner & the outstanding land tax

Title insurance covers you for a number of property ownership risks, and the affordable one-time premium can often prove a wise investment. In the case of one of our South Australian clients, the arrival of an unexpected invoice made them glad they had a title insurance policy in place.

Our client purchased a property and settlement had occurred, but two months later the client received an invoice from the South Australian land tax authority for an outstanding amount of $1,493.

Who pays the land tax in this situation? 

In this case, the vendor who had previously owned the property was liable. The conveyancer made an inquiry with the vendor’s solicitor, who confirmed that the vendor had not paid this outstanding amount. However, the vendor was unable to pay the land tax as they had filed for bankruptcy.

Fortunately, our client had a title insurance policy with First Title Insurance. After they contacted our team, we looked over the conveyancing file. The land tax certificate showed that no adjustment was required for the land tax. The certificate did show an outstanding land tax due payable two months after the settlement. According to the terms of sale, the vendor was liable for this amount, but the outstanding land tax amount was overlooked at settlement.

Resolving the issue

The client made a claim with First Title, we accepted the claim under section ‘errors in reporting to the client the land tax owned against the property on purchase’.  

We paid the outstanding land tax amount of $1,493 and the matter was resolved.

What title insurance covers – and why it’s worth considering?

Many don’t know that title insurance in Australia is a quick, easy and affordable way to get peace of mind for a range of common issues that can crop up when you own a property. Examples might include – encroaching structures, incorrect boundary fences or illegally built structures that weren’t disclosed when you bought your property. Other examples include incorrectly calculated rates and land tax, planning and zoning laws that might stop you from living in your property, and identity theft and fraud relating to your property. You can get a quick quote now and discover coverage benefits for your specific property type.

If you’re ready to get covered with First Title Insurance and you have details for the property you’ve purchased, or are about to purchase, then you can request cover right here.