Rural land means land that is used or apparently intended to be used for gain or profit for grazing of livestock, dairying, poultry farming, viticulture, orcharding, beekeeping, horticulture, the growing of crops of any kind, and vegetable growing.
So, even though your weekender in the country may not have stock on it, the fact that it is apparently intended for such use, would make it rural property under the law.
Under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002, Real Estate Agents can act in the purchase or sale of rural properties up to 20 hectares in size. However, a licensed Stock and Station Agent must handle properties over that size, and any livestock transactions. Before dealing with an agent, ask to see their licence and then call Fair Trading on 13 32 20 to check that it is current.
Important issues to consider when buying rural land are:
If looking for undeveloped land check the following:
If buying a property, ensure exactly what is being sold to you along with the property. Many owners of rural land, when selling, conduct what is called a clearing sale, during which farm and household implements are auctioned. Whilst these auctions are commonly conducted by the real estate agent selling the property, it is important to note that the conduct of clearing sales is not a normal activity of agents, and any funds paid to the agent in trust for the owner of the goods are not protected by the Property Services Compensation Fund. Many sales are conducted on a cash only basis.
During the conveyancing process of purchasing rural land, any unpaid or outstanding expenses relating to the property such as rates and utility fees are identified. These amounts become part of the calculation of the final figure which the purchaser is required to pay at the time of settlement. These are pro-rated so the vendor pays any amount owing for the period up until the date of settlement, and the purchaser pays any amount owing for the period after settlement.