From now on, Subsidence Advisory NSW will discontinue issuing Certificates under section 15B and 15C of the former Mine Subsidence Compensation Act 1961. The Coal Mine Subsidence Compensation Act 2017 replaced the former Act and did not carry forward the issuing of Certificates (“2017 Act”).
Following a review by Subsidence Advisory NSW, it was established that the process for determining if the improvements were built with approval and eligibility for compensation was inadequate. In the last ten years, records indicated only four claims have been refused as a result of improvements not complying with Subsidence Advisory NSW guidelines and approximately 150 properties, out of 14,000 located in mine subsidence districts, are damaged due to subsidence each year.
What does this mean for purchasers buying property in a mine subsidence district?
During the conveyancing process, purchasers can elect to obtain documentation of development approval from either the vendor or Council. Alternatively, purchasers have the option to obtain title insurance with coverage for non-complying improvements although, the title insurance policy should be reviewed to ensure that it provides adequate coverage.
Purchasers may be entitled to discretionary compensation under the 2017 Act if:
- Subsidence damage occurs due to non-complying improvements;
- Such non-compliance is through no fault of the purchaser; and
- The purchaser can demonstrate they sought relevant approval from Council or the vendor at the time of purchasing the property.
If you would like to discuss this matter further or if you need assistance with your next property purchase, please contact our property team.