Warning to home-buyers: get-out clause can lift cost

Sunday 29 February 2004

A smart practice widely condemned when it was adopted by a property developer in Queenstown has found its way to Christchurch.

By The Landlord

Buyers who had paid deposits on the first 48 sections in the Ellington Estate Development in Mairehau-Shirley have been told their contracts are no longer valid after the developer failed to get a resource consent by February 20.

A get-out clause in Ellington's contract with section buyers allows the developer to break the contracts even though the buyers believed a deposit had secured the land.

The practice was criticised last year after it was highlighted in a wrangle over a large Lake Hawea development, when Queenstown developer Chris Streat cancelled purchase contracts on 15 sections in the Grandview subdivision.

He then upped the individual section prices by as much as $40,500.

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