Couple Can’t Sell Their Home Because of 130-Year-Old Deed Blunder

An Australian couple is seeing their retirement plans threatened by a 130-year-old deed error that makes it impossible to sell their property.

Peter and Cheryl Plowman have been living in the same house on Bega Street, in Candelo, on the New South Wales South Coast for 20 years. A few years back, they purchased the house next to them from their neighbor with the intention of fixing it up and selling it for a profit to fund their retirement. Now, after investing their savings in it, the Plowman’s were shocked to learn that they won’t be able to sell their property to anyone, because the paperwork drafted over a century ago, when the lots were first registered, states that their new house is built on a different lot.

Mr. and Mrs. Plowman live in the fourth house along their street, which would logically make it Lot Four, only in the original deed it is marked Lot Three. When the lot deeds were originally drafted, sometime in the 1800s, the five lots on Bega Street were numbered ‘one, two, four, three, five,’ but the Plowmans had never bothered to check.

Photo: Cameron Tidy/Unsplash

When they bought the official Lot Four home next to them, Peter Plowman did his own conveyancing and didn’t spot the mixup, but the lawyer for the prospective buyer interested in the renovated home did. He also figured out that, technically, his client would be buying the Plowmans’ house, which is in a much poorer state, so his clients aren’t interested.

“I know where I bloody live,” Mr. Plowman told Nine News. “I’m not having some bureaucrat tell me otherwise. Bloody bureaucrats can’t count, and we are the ones paying the price for a mistake that was made 130 years ago.”

Unfortunately, there isn’t much he and his wife can do about it. They’ve repeatedly asked  Government officials to rectify the mixup keeping them from being able to sell their property, but they have been told that the deeds are technically correct so they’ll stay the way they are.


“We have begged them to come and have a look from the street to understand the mix-up, but they refuse,” Mrs. Plowman said.

Furthermore, if one day they decide to sell their own home, no one is likely to buy it, because it too is sitting on the wrong lot number. The craziest part is that after pouring their savings into this retirement project, the Plowmans have their hands tied and the relevant authorities don’t seem too eager to help.

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