A mistake with an Australian couple’s 130-year-old deed is making it impossible for them to sell their property.
Peter and Cheryl Plowman have been living in the same house in Candelo, New South Wales, for the last 20 years. Now closing in on their retirement, the couple is at risk of losing out on selling a second property to fund their retirement.
A few years ago, they purchased the house next to them from their neighbor with the intention of fixing it up to sell. After investing their entire savings, they’re now unable to sell the property because the paperwork, which was drafted over a century ago when the lots were first registered, states that their new house is built on a different lot.
To break it down, the Plowmans live in the fourth house on their street but the original deed has it marked as Lot Three instead of Lot Four. When they bought the official Lot Four next to them, Peter did his own conveyancing and didn’t spot the mixup.
Naturally, the lawyer for the new prospective buyer interested in the renovated property did find it. He also figured out that on a technicality, his client would be buying the Plowman’s house, which is not as new, so his clients were no longer interested.
“I know where I bloody live. I’m not having some bureaucrat tell me otherwise. Bloody bureaucrats can’t count, and we are the ones paying the price for a mistake that was made 130 years ago,” Peter said.
Unfortunately, the Plowmans are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They’ve asked government officials to fix the mixup but were told that the deeds are technically correct and everything will stay the way they are.
“We have begged them to come and have a look from the street to understand the mix-up, but they refuse,” Cheryl said.