The recent news coverage of a property development in Sydney has a lot of investors and first home buyers worried that their off-the-plan purchase may turn out to be not exactly as promised. Here is the process to follow if you do find your off-the-plan property isn't what you expected.

Carefully review your purchase contract

While you probably have a clearer memory of the artist's impressions and models of what the development will look like, the most important things to be familiar with is the purchase contract which details the specifications of the property that will be delivered. The broader the specifications, the more flexibility the property developer has to modify the property as the building progresses.

Review the physical property

While some modifications are easy to observe, such as the lack of a bedroom, others may be best to be evaluated by a professional such as a tradesman. If you are questioning whether some of the other work is up to standard you should get a tradesman to give you are a written evaluation you can use to negotiate with the property developers. Be sure to take photos as well, to provide further evidence.

Meet with a property lawyer

You should attempt to contact other people in your complex, to see if they have similar issues with their properties. You should then all individually meet with a property lawyer to determine how you wish to move forward, and what the best and most successful legal resolutions will be. In many cases if the issue is structural you may not be able to get a direct resolution and may have to settle for a financial resolution.

The extent of any financial resolution may be laid in the property contract, but if it can be shown that the builder has created a detrimental changes or acted negligently then you may eligible for a settlement over and above this amount in line with the damage that has been caused. In many cases having the property negotiate en masse, through their lawyer, gives the best chance of restitution.

If you are worried about your off-the-plan property not turning out as planned, be assured there is a path to restitution. Carefully reviewing your legal documentation before signing on to an off-the-plan development can help you to avoid many of these issues. If you do have a problem, make sure to get advice from a property lawyer.