Swimming Pool Owners should check before diving in

RHGNew legislation that comes into force shortly will ensure that both landlords and vendors looking to sell properties with a swimming pool have undertaken all works necessary to make the pool compliant with safety regulations.

From 29 April 2015, all properties with a swimming pool or spa pool that are sold or rented must have a valid swimming pool certificate of compliance.

The laws apply to pools associated with private dwellings (houses, townhouses & strata and community schemes), moveable dwellings, motels and backpacker, B&B and farmstay accommodation.

The definition of “swimming pool and spa pool” includes in-ground, above-ground, indoor and portable pools that are capable of being filled with 300mm of water.… Read More

Employees going AWOL

RHGPeople change jobs for a variety of reasons, from not getting on with the boss to career advancement. Usually notice is given by the employee and they will work with their employer to train a replacement. But how should an employer react when an employee abandons their position?

Abandonment of employment arises where an employee:

  • is absent from work
  • without a reasonable excuse
  • for an unreasonable period of time
  • without having advised their employer why

The employee is, by their actions (or lack thereof), demonstrating an intention to no longer be bound by the terms of their contract of employment.

Abandonment of employment is a repudiation of the employment contract, however the contract isn’t terminated until the abandonment is accepted by the employer.… Read More

Age of entitlement – fuelling family feuds

RHGThe rhetoric regarding the dangers of the “age of entitlement” recently espoused by politicians in relation to the Federal Budget has rung true in relation to a Family Provision Act case made in relation to a family farm.

The court proceedings involved the Will of Mr W, who had left three farming properties in western NSW to his daughter. The daughter had been a partner in the farming business with her father

One of the daughter’s sons, that is a grandson of Mr W, commenced a Family Provision Act claim challenging his grandfather’s Will and seeking an immediate inheritance from his grandfather.… Read More

Land sales purchases – a handshake is not a deal

RHGIt is a well-known principle in New South Wales conveyancing law that there is no binding agreement for the sale & purchase of real estate until formal written contracts are exchanged.

A recent case concerning sale of farmland between neighbours sought to challenge this principle.

The case involved the sale of approximately 200 acres of grazing land by Ms N, to her neighbour, Mr H. Ms N offered the land to Mr H in a letter by way of a private sale without involving a real estate agent.

Mr H wrote to Ms N by email indicating he was interested in purchasing the 200 acres adjoining his property.… Read More

Protecting Your Business Reputation

RHGMany businesses register intellectual property rights to protect their products, logos and brands. You might think that once the IP rights have been registered, there is nothing further to do, however this can be a trap with serious ramifications.

As discovered in a recent case involving a large well-known US camper van company, failing to take action on IP infringement can be costly.

The case involved an Australian business utilising the name and a similar logo to that of the US company. The Australian business began using the name and logo in the late 1970s, however it wasn’t until 1985 that the US company discovered the “copy-cat”.… Read More

New era of electronic conveyancing

RHGAs we usher in the new year, those of us involved in property and conveyancing transactions are awaiting roll out of electronic conveyancing in 2014.

E-Conveyancing, as it is to be known, will involve electronic settlement of sales and purchases in an online workspace.

The early stages of a sale or purchase will remain the same, with solicitors preparing the contract for sale of land and submitting same to the legal representative of the purchaser. Once the contract has been reviewed, and the purchaser has obtained all necessary pre-purchase inspections (such as pest & building reports, survey and finance approval), the contracts will be exchanged and both parties locked into the deal.… Read More

Women in Business Charity Trivia Afternoon

RHGI have my reindeer antlers ready and my santa suit on standby; I have been reading the encyclopedia and atlas every night to brush up on my general knowledge. I am gearing up for the Women in Business Charity Trivia Afternoon co-hosted by Eversols and Forsyths Accountants.

With Anna Moulder of ABC New England North West as our Quiz Whiz Master, we will be hosting a trivia afternoon with a Christmas twist in support of World Vision.

Teams of six will battle it out to be crowned Trivia Quiz Whiz champions.

For a bit of fun, we are asking attendees to get into the festive spirit by wearing some Christmas bling.… Read More

Is your rental property being used illegally?

RHGA recent decision in the Land and Environment Court should be reviewed by landlords who rent their property for short-term stays to ensure the use of the property is not in breach of the Local Environmental Plan for the area.

The case of Dobrohotoff v. Bennic determined that the renting of a house to party goers for short-term stays was not a permitted residential dwelling use in the Gosford local government area.

The house, located in a beachside residential suburb, was usually rented out for weekends and week long stays. The neighbour brought the claim against the owner of the property after the neighbour’s complaints about late night parties and loud events such as buck’s & hen’s nights were ignored.… Read More

Are You an Agricultural Tenant?

RHGWhere a person leases a house on a farm, it can sometimes be unclear whether they are a residential tenant or an agricultural tenant.

A residential tenant has rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. This legislation governs the landlord’s requirements to provide a safe and secure residence, matters that are to be included in a lease, what constitutes a breach of the lease, and the tenant’s right to privacy.

An agricultural tenancy is governed by the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1990. This Act sets out the rights of tenants to receive compensation for improvements undertaken on the property, and the capacity of landlords to require maintenance of land and infrastructure.… Read More

Is Your Home Subject to Land Tax?

RHGLand Tax is a tax levied by the NSW Government on owners of land. Generally your home or “principal place of residence” is exempt from Land Tax.

Whilst “principal place of residence” appears to be a fairly straightforward concept, arguments often arise in relation to the term, particularly when the Office of State Revenue is chasing Land Tax payments.

Essentially Land Tax is not payable on land that is a “principal place of residence” – that is, residential land that is used and occupied by the owner as their principal place of residence and for no other purpose (with limited home business exceptions).… Read More