Clause to enter house prior to settlement

8 Replies

I am in the process of buying my first house. It is a brand new house with no one currently living in it. I am boarding at the moment and as such don't have things like furniture, cutlery, appliances and homeware items. I was thinking of putting in a clause that allows me to access the house prior to settlement date to allow me to put furniture and so forth in the house. Is this a good idea? Does anyone have examples of the wording of such a clause? I have also included an early access clause that will allow me to take tenants through the house prior to settlement as well.



You're wanting possession of the house prior to closing.  Unlikely.  Too much liability for the seller to have unlimited access for the possible buyer.  If you want access to measure or take pictures, get your agent to do a showing for you.  But possession (which is what you're describing), highly unlikely.

@Timothy Shue

Generally, it’s a bad idea. Deals fall apart at the closing table. If the closing is extended, will you pay for furniture storage? What do you do if your furniture walks off or is destroyed? In general, giving buyers early access is a liability.

@Christopher Phillips

 I am in New Zealand and am not sure if it is different from the US but the only way I see the deal falling apart at closing is if I don't pay the vendor the remainder of the purchase price. How else could the deal fall apart at the closing table?

Title issues are a common reason for last minute deal breakage.    You can always ask for early possession.  The proper way to get possession of a property you don't own is a lease.  So, you could offer payment for having this access.

It is a great idea for the buyer 100% confident the deal is a lock.

As a seller I would never agree to it and would be a fool to do so. It is like allowing a tenant to move in before the lease is finilised. 

I haven’t done possession type clauses like that but have done the early access to show potential tenants. Or early access to do renovations which would be more similar to what your talking but that wouldn’t be appropriate here on a new build as there is no incentive for the seller to go for it?

Your in CHCH so maybe give Lewis Donaldson at Harcourts/Canterbury Property investors association a buzz and see if he has seen/heard of similar clauses? He’s a good bloke to get to know anyway for investments in CHCH


It's simple @Timothy Shue in New Zealand. Ignore all the well meaning American posters they do not understand the national differences. You just need either a prior access clause if you just want access to the property or else you offer to rent the property until settlement. Your lawyer can draft the caluses I have them both but they are a bit old now.

I have done both many times, it's simple if vendors are OK with it. They often will ask you to insure the property before they give you access either way.

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