The Legal Language – off-the-plan

01 June 2022

Have you ever read something and thought, “I’m not sure what that means” or ‘is that really correct”? Welcome to our series of quickfire interviews that attempt to unravel those interesting words and phrases.

In this edition, we speak to Property Lawyer Biljana Stankovski, who talks to us about the phrase she finds interesting, off-the-plan.


What phrase have you chosen and what does it mean?

I have chosen the phrase off-the-plan. Off-the-plan refers to when someone purchases a property before the building works have been completed or are still under construction. Accordingly, you are purchasing property based on the building plans and designs rather than a finished product.

What’s been the most interesting use of this phrase that you have come across?

Although not one instance, I often encounter clients that purchase property off-the-plan and are disappointed with the final product as it differed from their expectations. I find it interesting to see how different clients, people and organisations interpret and apply the use of the phrase off-the-plan. While it may seem straight forward off-the-plan related matters are often complex and carry many additional requirements within a property context.

When did you first come across this word in a legal context?

I first came across the phrase when purchasing a property off-the-plan. As it was before I practiced in property my understanding and conception of the phrase was entirely different. It was only after I begun to review and draft contracts for off-the-plan transactions that I realised the phrase is much more involved than I had initially thought.