Aussie couple live in wrong house for decades after 130 year old mistake

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A retired couple on the NSW coast have been left in home ownership limbo with two properties they can’t sell because of a land title muck-up 130 years ago.

Peter and Cheryl Plowman have been living in their Candelo home for nearly 20 years.

A few years ago, they bought the house next door as an investment property, with the intention of selling it to fund their retirement.

But their plan fell through when they discovered something was amiss with its plot number.

Peter and Cheryl Plowman, who can't sell their houses.
Peter and Cheryl Plowman are furious the mistake is preventing them from selling their houses. Source: A Current Affair

There are five total plots on Bega Street, with the Plowman's living in the fourth home, and their investment egg sitting on plot three.

But according to the government department overseeing land plots, it is the other way round.

Land titles from 1893 show the Plowman’s home is actually plot three, with their second house on plot four.

This means, lot one starts on the corner and then it runs lot two, lot four, lot three and lot five.

“Bloody bureaucrats can’t count,” Mr Plowman told Channel Nine's A Current Affair.

“And we are the ones paying the price for a mistake that was made 130 years ago.”

Peter and Cheryl Plowman's investment property
The couple purchased the property next door as an investment to see them through retirement. Source: A Current Affair

Property error exposed

Despite doing previous research, the couple didn’t discover the mistake until the time came to sell their investment home.

The buyer pulled out when his lawyer unearthed the century-old error that would have seen him purchasing the Plowman’s home, not the one next door.

“We have the original land titles from 1893 and it’s clear to see that they have mixed the numbers up for the entire street somewhere along the line,” Ms Plowman said.

The couple told A Current Affair they have "spent a fortune on lawyers and government searches" to find out what went wrong all those years ago, but said the government insists the land lots are correct and won’t budge.

While this continues, the couple claim they aren’t able to sell either of their homes to see them through retirement.

For Mr Plowman, he’s had enough.

“I know where I bloody live and I’m not having some bureaucrat tell me otherwise,” he said.

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