The contract has been signed and the address has been noted by the agent as 3 Smith Street on the contract. This is what the vendor had advised it should be and the letterbox also had that number on it. That is what you would expect the address to be and of course that is what the purchaser thought as well. However this may not be the case.
We recently had a purchaser with this situation and while the search from the Lands Titles Office had 3 Smith Street, the Council search had 3A Smith Street. So who is right and how does this need to be dealt with?
Which Search is Correct?
The Council is the governing body that is responsible for allocating Street Numbers so in this case the Lands Titles Office had to be notified of the correct numbering so that they could change their records. It ended up that there was no number 3 at all. The Council had given the properties the numbers as 3A and 3B.
The new owner had to change the number on their letterbox to suit and in this case the next door neighbour also had to be informed as their letterbox had the wrong number on it as well. In fact the neighbours letterbox had 3A on it so of course this needed to be changed as a matter of urgency. Confusing for everyone involved!
Luckily it was all sorted before any change of addresses had been finalised for the parties concerned. Not sure how the postie would cope with these changes but as the properties were newly built and had not been lived in by the previous owners this did not become an issue.
Why was there a difference?
There are many reasons this can happen and it is often occurs in the subdivision process and this is what happened in the case above. This error can occur when the Council originally advised the Lands Titles Office and the numbers get “mixed up” or occurs when the Council has a change of heart and amends the addresses without advising the relevant authority. For whatever reason if it does happen in a property that you are purchasing then we can assist you with sorting the issue out.
Luckily as conveyancers we go by more than just street numbers otherwise they could have purchased the wrong property!