How to take ownership of an abandoned house?

In order to make headway in a competitive Australian real estate market, many people are going to great lengths. One such example of this is looking for abandoned properties to buy. The ability to save money on a property in a certain area makes this option an appealing draw. In addition, people that own these properties may be motivated to sell due to wanting to avoid paying the vacant property tax. Here are some of the key insights you need in order to successfully purchase abandoned property.

What qualifies as abandoned property? 

While the exact definition may vary, there are a few key items that are taken into account when it comes to determining the status of a property as abandoned, or not. These include:

  • Non-paid rent
  • The dwelling clearly being neglected and unoccupied
  • No mail being collected
  • Regular reports from neighbours about the resident’s absence or location
  • The disconnect of services
  • Removal of personal items from the property

These issues generally need to be present for an extended amount of time, also, but that may vary by state.

How do you find abandoned houses?

Here are 6 of the ideal methods for finding abandoned houses for potential purchases:

  1. Checking in with a local clerk
  2. Reaching out to other realtors in your network to see if they know about abandoned properties
  3. Talking to mail deliverers to see if they notice any abandoned dwellings on their route
  4. Reaching out to a property lawyer
  5. Looking at property auctions
  6. Reaching out to banks and seeing homes they may have under foreclosure

Not all of these situations may apply in every scenario. People interested in abandoned dwellings will need to be prepared to do some research and investigation to determine the nature of the property and how they can go about buying it.

Is it illegal to go into an abandoned house? 

The biggest issue here is that it can be difficult to tell at first glance if a property is truly abandoned or just vacant.

If it’s vacant, it still has an owner, and it’s illegal to enter without permission.

For truly abandoned property, you can enter and actually occupy it over time via the old rule of adverse possession.

However, you need to occupy the property for an extended amount of time and meet some key requirements.

Generally, you want to make sure you have legal recourse before exploring an abandoned home.

How do you buy an abandoned house? 

Once you find abandoned houses for sale in Australia you’re interested in, assuming you’re not going to attempt adverse possession, you need to reach out to the owner and put together an offer. If it ends up being owned by a bank, you may be able to pick it up at a real estate auction.

How do you find the owner of a vacant property?

Generally, the best way to go about this is by looking up local real estate records.

However, if the owner is deceased or perhaps moved abroad, it may take a while for you to get into contact with them.

Overall, while abandoned properties pose a great opportunity in the Australian real estate world, you want to make sure that you’re protected legally to make sure that you stay in compliance.

Along with this, the most prime opportunities for purchase aren’t likely to be available long.

As a result, you want to make sure that you invest in the tools and resources that will help you find the ideal properties quickly, like a homeowners’ database in Australia.

By keeping track of abandoned dwellings in your area, you may end up getting a diamond in the rough with minimal effort.


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